By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
In 50 days the new EuroLeague season will tip-off and an impressive number of high-level talent is added in the competition.
And speaking about high level, you can’t deny that the EuroLeague coaches are setting the tone. It was evident during the first-ever EuroLeague Head Coaches Clinic – which you can now enjoy from the comfort of your pc – and the president of the EuroLeague Head Coaches Board, Zeljko Obradovic was more than happy when all was said and done.
“I am very happy first of all for the number of coaches who attended the clinic”, admitted coach Obradovic who was also satisfied with the fact that coaches from 36 different countries made the trip to Badalona: “The number of 36 different countries is incredible. This means they trust EuroLeague coaches and they made the trip from different parts of the world to come here. I believe that in such a short timeframe that we had to prepare, thanks first of all to our executive director Goran Sasic, it was an excellent clinic. Knowing all the coaches, starting from coach Messina, coach Bartzokas, coach Pablo Laso, Xavi Pascual, Saras and myself, it’s clear that we talked openly about everything and what we are doing with our players. That’s why I really believe that it was useful for all the coaches who attended. We want to make things even better in the future and that’s why we want and appreciate their feedback. This is the way we need to work”.
The clinic will become an institution and next summer is expected to be held in Turkey. “We want to organize this clinic every year in a different country”, explained Obradovic. “It looks like the clinic will be held next year in Turkey. We will try to involve more and more coaches and I am very happy about one thing. The coaches who were the audiences really participated, they had questions, they talked with us, they gave us their opinion and this is the best thing that can happen in a clinic”.
And this is one more proof about the EuroLeague improvement with the coaches being among the driving forces, as Obradovic said: “I am very happy because of the relationship and the respect we have between us is something special. We have to continue to work that way and all the people in the EuroLeague to feel that we are on the same page. I am talking about the owners, the EuroLeague employees, the Players Association, the referees and the coaches. We have to work together to make our organization better and better”.
And this is something build not only on the court but also on the dinner table with a glass of wine. Traditionally the EuroLeague and EuroCup coaches have a joint dinner after their annual meeting in Barcelona – the same happened this year – but during the EuroLeague Coaches Clinic, two more dinners were hosted by Zeljko Obradovic, one mainly for the EuroLeague coaches in a less formal fashion.
Zoc proved to be an impeccable host and this is just the start, as he explained: “We need to do this and we will continue to do this. I believe this is an excellent opportunity to know each other better, to meet new people. I was very happy to meet some new people for the first time in my life, to hear a different opinion. Those people can help us and we can help them. And also it was a pleasure for us, the EuroLeague coaches, to be all together”.