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Former NBA basketball coach Mike Fratello got his start as an analyst when he was paired with Marv Albert in the 1990–91 NBA season to form the main announcing team for NBC Sports. During a broadcast, Albert famously dubbed Fratello “Czar of the Telestrator” for his wizardry in diagramming plays on-screen. The enduring nickname, often shortened to “The Czar” or simply “Czar,” is also a nod to Fratello’s run at the helm of the Atlanta Hawks team that competed against the Soviet national team in a 1988 good will tournament organized by media mogul, and then franchise owner, Ted Turner. The Hawks became the first NBA team to play a game in the USSR, and this tour was a catalyst for the rapid globalization of NBA basketball, which featured 108 international players in the 2017-18 season. Fratello coached the Ukraine National Team in the FIBA European Championship tournaments from 2011-2014 and continues to be inspired by the transformative power of sports to transcend borders and promote international inclusion.

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