By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
CSKA Moscow head coach Dimitris Itoudis will take over the Greek national team, both the Russian club and the Greek Basketball Federation announced. The seven-time EuroLeague champion (two as head coach of CSKA and five as an assistant on Panathinaikos Athens) will begin his new duties in the upcoming 2022 EuroBasket tournament. Sotiris Manolopoulos will remain the head coach of Greece during the 2023 World Cup Qualifiers.
Itoudis succeeds Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino who was at the helm of Greece during the 2021 Olympic Qualifying Tournament of Victoria, Canada.
Dimitris will make his debut as a coach of the National Team at 2022 EuroBasket, which will be held from 1 to 18 of September. Greece will compete in Group C of the tournament along with Great Britain, Italy, Ukraine, Croatia and Estonia. The games of the first stage will be held in Milan, Italy.
Andrey Vatutin, PBC CSKA President:
First of all, I am sincerely happy for Dimitris. Leading the national team of your country is a great honor and a huge responsibility. By his work over the years, including eight seasons with CSKA, coach Itoudis has earned this invitation and now he will lead a team with a lot of great players and a glorious history. Yes, this will mean that Dimitris will miss part of our club’s preseason. But several factors influenced our decision. Firstly, in this tough period for the whole world, when it is difficult to predict anything, to see the club’s perspective and somehow control what is happening even at the level of the basketball community, I want to make my modest contribution to stability. Secondly, I know how important this job is for Dimitris, and thus we want to express our deep gratitude to him both for all the victories with CSKA in previous years, and for the desire to stay and work hard with the team now, at a difficult time for club. Thirdly, we felt great interest, respect and tactful attitude towards the invitation on the part of the Hellenic Basketball Federation and, in particular, its President Vangelis Liolios, who personally came to Moscow to negotiate on this issue. We sincerely wish Dimitris and the Team Greece great success at the European Championships.
Dimitris Itoudis, head coach of CSKA:
I would like to thank Andrey Vatutin and the whole CSKA organization for giving me the green light and allowing to coach the National Team of my country. It is really a big, tremendous honor. I would like also to thank Mr.Liolios and other people in the Federation for their interest and effort to bring me to this position. As I said before, something that you want deep in your heart turns into reality, you create the world you live in. I know the expectations. Greeks are proud nation, they like basketball, basketball brings them joy. I also know our obligations. I wish our players to stay healthy and look forward to working hard together.
Vangelis Liolios, Hellenic Basketball Federation President:
I would like to thank the CSKA Basketball and the President Mr. Vatutin personally for the cooperation throughout this period, which led to a positive response to the request of the Hellenic Basketball Federation.