King Kokoskov named Serbia coach for Olympic push

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BELGRADE (Information) – Sacramento Kings assistant coach Igor Kokoskov has taken cost of his native Serbia in a bid to steer them to subsequent 12 months’s Olympic Video games in Tokyo, the Balkan nation’s basketball federation (KSS) stated on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Basketball – Slovenia v Serbia – European Championships EuroBasket 2017 Closing – Istanbul, Turkey – September 17, 2017 – Coach Igor Kokoskov of Slovenia reacts. Information/Osman Orsal

Kokoskov will proceed in a twin position as an assistant to Kings’ head coach Luke Walton as he goals to steer Serbia by the Olympic basketball qualifiers subsequent June.

“We’re delighted to have a coach of Kokoskov’s high quality on the helm as we stay up for the Olympic qualifiers,” KSS president Predrag Danilovic stated.

“We’re very grateful to the Sacramento Kings, notably (common supervisor) Vlade Divac for making this occur,” added Danilovic, a former capturing guard who had stints with the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Warmth within the 1990s.

Divac, a former Kings and Los Angeles Lakers heart, can also be the vice-president of basketball operations on the Kings, whose roster consists of Serbians Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica.

Predrag Stojakovic, who steered the previous Yugoslavia to the 2002 World Cup title alongside Divac in Indianapolis and received the 2011 NBA title with the Mavericks, is the franchise’s director of participant personnel and improvement.

Kokoskov, who was in control of the Phoenix Suns final season after guiding Slovenia to the 2017 European Championship, stated being named Serbia’s head coach was a privilege.

“It’s a nice honor for me and my household as a result of I do know solely too effectively simply how a lot affection folks in Serbia have for his or her nationwide basketball workforce.

“I’m additionally conscious of the nice expectations, given the excessive requirements and the success we’ve had with previous generations. It’s a dream come true to have a shot at emulating these feats.”

BIG STAGE

As an impartial nation, Serbia have received 4 silver medals on the large stage – having completed on the rostrum on the 2009 European Championship, the 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Olympics and Eurobasket 2017.

They had been crushed within the 2017 closing by fellow former Yugoslavs Sloveniam coached by Kokoskov who acquired the higher of his counterpart Aleksandar Djordjevic and has now succeeded him as Serbia coach.

Djordjevic stepped down after Serbia completed fifth at this 12 months’s World Cup in China after a 94-89 fifth-to-eighth place playoff win over the USA failed to avoid wasting his job.

The nation’s capital Belgrade will host one of many 4 Olympic qualifying tournaments from June 23-28, with solely the winners going by to affix the eight certified nations.

Aside from hosts Japan and holders the USA, world champions Spain, Argentina, France, Australia, Iran and Nigeria have additionally punched their tickets to the Video games.

FILE PHOTO: Oct 23, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton (left) and assistant coach Igor Kokoskov towards the Phoenix Suns at Speaking Stick Resort Area. Obligatory Credit score: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports activities/File Picture

Kokoskov acknowledged that working in a twin position could be a large job and he thanked the Kings for permitting him to take over as Serbia coach.

“I’m very grateful to the Kings to permit this enterprise as I work right here every day,” he stated.

“I took this problem on as a result of after 20 years within the NBA at varied ranges, I wish to give one thing again to my nation too.”

Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Enhancing by Ken Ferris