By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Umana Reyer Venice announced the next head coach taking over at the bottom end of the 2022-23 season.
Neven Spahija was named as the successor of Walter De Raffaele on Wednesday. Assistant Gianluca Tucci will guide Reyer against 7Bet-Lietkabelis at Panevezys tonight before the Croatian tactician formally takes over this weekend.
De Raffaele, 54, was released Sunday.
On the losing end of six out of the last seven outings between the 7DAYS EuroCup and Italy’s LBA Serie A, Venice ranks fifth in Group A of the EuroCup Regular Season behind a 7-6 record before the trip to Lithuania and sits just outside the Playoffs zone of the domestic table packing an 8-10 record ahead of the home fixture opposite Carpegna Prosciutto Pesaro Sunday. It will also be part of the 2023 Frecciarossa Final Eight taking on Virtus Segafredo Bologna in the Quarterfinals of the Italian Cup next Thursday.
Spahija, 60, won the EuroCup with Valencia in 2010. He also guided Cibona and Krka Novo Mesto in the 2013-14 and 2002-03 editions of the competition, respectively. Coaching experience in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague stretches from Cibona and Krka to Rytas, Maccabi, Fenerbahce Ulker, and Baskonia with his most recent stint at the team based in Vitoria-Gasteiz ending after the 2021-22 season. Apart from the continental triumph in 2010 as the play-caller for Power Electronics Valencia, he captured multiple domestic champions in Spain, Israel, Lithuania, Croatia, and Slovenia.
Beyond ventures across Europe, Spahija has worked in the NBA as an assistant coach at the Atlanta Hawks from 2014 to 2017 and at the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2019-20 season. A long and successful coaching career also including a spell at the Croatia national team and in China’s CBA with the Shanghai Sharks.