Ekpe Udoh still hears Zeljko Obradovic yelling plays; wants to see a black head coach in EuroLeague

2024-02-26T14:35:38+00:00 2024-02-26T20:57:51+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

26/Feb/24 14:35


Ekpe Udoh, a former EuroLeague Final Four MVP and now assistant coach with the Atlanta Hawks, talks about switching careers, recalls his Fenerbahce days, describes Zeljko Obradovic’s influence and explains how he would jump after the opportunity of becoming the first ever black head coach in EuroLeague.

By Eurohoops team / info@eurohoops.net

Former EuroLeague Final Four MVP and current Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Ekpe Udoh joined Antonis Stroggylakis and Cesare Milanti on the latest episode of Eurohoops’ EurohooPOD.

Udoh talked about how he started a coaching career, the impact and influence of Zeljko Obradovic and how he still hears the legendary coach yelling what to do. “I think the way we played and his [Obradovic] basketball mind, I see that a lot when we’re on the court,” Udoh said. “I hear him yelling in the background about things to do on the court offensively. His influence has always been with me, even though I was with him as a player I took the time to really listen and pay attention. I didn’t take that for granted.”

He also discussed going from Bogdan Bogdanovic’s teammate to now coaching him and whether he’d see himself becoming a head coach on a EuroLeague team one day. 

An icon of Fenerbahce Beko, Udoh looked back at winning the 2017 EuroLeague championship with the Turkish club and named his favorite teammates on and off the court. He also touched on joining Virtus Bologna to play alongside a specific point guard, a “depressing” season-ending injury, while naming the EuroLeague players who could’ve moved to the NBA but never did.

(1:50) Visiting Machu Pichu during the All-Star Break

(2:40) How has Ekpe Udoh transitioned to coaching?

(4:58) The goal is consistency for the Atlanta Hawks

(5:23) “Spanoulis Action” now in every NBA playbook

(6:32) Former EuroLeague players becoming coaches in the NBA: Trend or coincidence?

(7:10) What is Ekpe Udoh’s role in Quin Snyder’s staff?

(8:11) The “crazy full circle” with Bogdan Bogdanovic

(10:41) Becoming a EuroLeague head coach?

(11:32) How has Zeljko Obradovic influenced him as a coach

(14:52) The special season in 2017 with Fenerbahce

(15:42) Who are Ekpe Udoh’s all-time favorite Fenerbahce teammates?

(18:54) The player who was the reason he joined Virtus Bologna

(19:42) Lonely and depressing times” after the injury with Virtus

(22:07) Players he played with or faced in EuroLeague that could’ve been in the NBA

(24:58) African national teams making noise in World Cup

(27:27) Witnessing Steph Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo making their first steps in NBA

(30:20) From facing teenager Luka Doncic in EuroLeague to watching him become NBA superstar

(32:35) The untapped potential of Nigerian basketball