Rick Pitino projects Spanoulis as Greek NT leader

2020-05-17T20:42:40+00:00 2020-05-17T20:48:44+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

17/May/20 20:42


After expressing his desire to coach Greece’s national team, Rick Pitino followed up discussing the players he will be counting on.

By Eurohoops Team/ info@eurohoops.net

Rick Pitino told Greek sports radio station ERA Sport that he considers Vassilis Spanoulis an important player for the Greek national team squad. The Olympiacos captain has not competed internationally since 2015, but Greece’s boss would like to see him return for the 2021 Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

“Calathes, Papapetrou, Papagiannis, Printezis, and Papanikolaou will be on the team. We will look for the rest of our players. I like Dorsey, and I must say I would want Spanoulis to play,” pointed out Pitino, “I want him as our captain, our leader. He will have the necessary time to recover from his foot injury. Spanoulis is an essential squad member for me, and I want him on the team. I will make him an offer he won’t be able to refuse.”

The former Panathinaikos OPAP head coach clarified his wish to lead Greece in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament set to take next summer in Canada hoping to clinch a spot in the following Olympic Games. Despite taking over Iona after his second stint with the Greens, he would be open to returning to the Greek club if the 2019-20 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season resumes.

“I understood that the EuroLeague season won’t be completed, but I wanted to finish the season with Panathinaikos and afterward coach Greece,” he mentioned regarding his initial plans halted by the coronavirus pandemic, “If Panathinaikos requested me for the playoffs, I would return. However, I don’t believe this will happen.”

Pitino was hired as Greece’s head coach back in November, a few weeks before launching his second run with Panathinaikos. Forward four months in March, he joined Iona and parted ways with the Greens.