Ergin Ataman officially takes over Turkey’s national team

2022-04-16T10:30:18+00:00 2022-04-16T11:10:12+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

16/Apr/22 10:30

The second stint of Ergin Ataman as the Turkey national team selector begins

By Johnny Askounis/

Current Anadolu Efes boss Ergin Ataman was named head coach of the Turkey senior national team, as announced Saturday morning during a press conference arranged by the Turkish Basketball Federation. TBF president Hedo Turkoglu presented the new Turkey selector, who was previously reported as the prime candidate for the job.

“I am an ambitious person. I want to win all trophies with every team I coach. Even today, in the introductory press conference, I want to make it clear to all fans and players who will be selected that we are here to win EuroBasket, World Cup, and Olympic medals,” he mentioned, “Maybe I was modest mentioning the medals as our goal. Our only goal in the EuroBasket is to win it.”

Ataman, 56, starting his second stint meets the national team in view of the 2022 edition of EuroBasket. Turkey is scheduled to face Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Belgium, and Spain in Tbilisi. The top four teams will move from Group A to the knockout stage, to be held between 10 and 18 September in Berlin. Moreover, Turkey is set to host Belarus and visit Great Britain completing the six-game schedule of the 2023 FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers Group B and looking to clinch a berth in the next round as one of the top three sides of the four-team group.

The experienced tactician and 2021 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion with Efes was Turkey’s play-caller from 2014 through 2016. The initial run featured eighth place in the 2014 World Cup and 14th place in the 2015 EuroBasket. Ataman was replaced by Ufuk Sarica prior to Orhun Ene covering the remaining gap between the two stints.

“The scheduling conflicts between EuroLeague and FIBA windows have been damaging. Not only in Turkey but all over European basketball,” added Ataman commenting on the club and international games coinciding in the winter schedule of recent seasons, “I think that Euroleague Basketball and FIBA should find a common path. The players suffered the most from this. Many have from serious injuries.”

Moving into crunchtime of the current season at the club level, Efes will collide with AX Armani Exchange Milan in the EuroLeague Playoffs. Game 1 is coming up on Tuesday in Italy, as the defending champions will be dealing with the opponent’s home-court advantage. Behind a 21-6 record, his side shares the lead in Turkey’s BSL standings with Fenerbahce Beko.