Ukraine and The Czar

For the first time in the national basketball team’s history, Ukraine is among the eight teams that advanced to the EuroBasket 2013 Quarterfinals. We’ll play Croatia, the top seed in our group of four, for a shot at the semis.  Rooted in a rich basketball tradition, Croatia is tall, long, athletic and very skilled, so we’ll have our hands full. CRO vs. UKR tips off Thursday, Sept. 19 at 11:45AM ET at Stozice Arena in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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Photos courtesy of FIBA Europe’s official EuroBasket 2013 website.

Ukraine and The Czar

WEB-Ukraine-Screen-Shot-Eurobasket-18SEPT2013

Ukraine and The Czar

David Hein wrote a nice article about Ukraine’s progress as we look ahead to hosting EuroBasket 2015.

FRATELLO GIVING UKRAINE IDENTITY by David Hein

You will have to excuse the basketball general public if they don’t know the names of Maxym Korniyenko, Sergii Gladyr and Olexandr Mishula.

Don’t worry Ukraine fans, your coach has name notoriety enough to bring interest to your national team as Mike Fratello is in the process of giving Ukraine an identity – especially looking forward to EuroBasket 2015 in their own country.

The diminutive and experienced former NBA coach and television analyst paces the sidelines at EuroBasket 2013 with a large coaching staff behind him. Fratello’s philosophies and instructions have already seen success with Ukraine reaching the Second Round of a EuroBasket for the first time and knocking on the door to the quarter-finals after beating Serbia 82-75. Read more…

Photos courtesy of FIBA Europe’s official EuroBasket 2013 website

Ukraine and The Czar

I talked with ESPN correspondent Mark Woods about Ukraine’s performance at EuroBasket 2013 and the likelihood of seeing a European coach at the helm of an NBA team in the near future.

NEXT? EUROPEAN HEAD COACH IN NBA by Mark Woods

Jure Makovec/AFP/Getty ImagesLJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Mike Fratello believes the time may have arrived to break down a barrier in the NBA and give a European a shot at becoming a head coach.

The former Atlanta, Memphis and Cleveland playcaller has spent the past two weeks pitting himself against some of the continent’s most accomplished tactical minds in his capacity in charge of Ukraine’s national team at EuroBasket.

Fratello, 66, prominent now during the NBA season as a broadcaster, has been traveling across the Atlantic in a basketball capacity for more than two decades, conducting clinics, sharing his knowledge and broadcasting games back to home.

But since his appointment with the Ukrainians in 2011, he’s gotten a firsthand insight into the abilities of his European counterparts. Read more…

Ukraine and The Czar

Tony Parker led Group A top seed France to a 77-71 victory over Ukraine in Game 4 of the Qualifying Round with 28 points. Ukraine must bounce back and beat Great Britain in Game 5 to guarantee that we advance to Round 2 of the EuroBasket. GBR vs. UKR tips off  Monday at 8:30 AM ET.

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Photos courtesy of FIBA Europe’s official EuroBasket 2013 website.