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Ivkovic To Rebuild With Youth In Istanbul

04 June 2014
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
Serbia headcoach Dusan Ivkovic
Serbia head coach Dusan Ivkovic has confirmed he will coach Anadolu Efes in their next Euroleague campaign

The reign of Dusan (Duda) Ivkovic at Anadolu Efes was confirmed officially over the weekend and commenced on Tuesday, with the presentation of the legendary Serbian coach in Istanbul.

Ivkovic has signed a two-year contract with the Turkish juggernauts and when the 2014/2015 season begins, he will renew the epic clashes with his close friend and fellow Serbian Zeljko Obradovic, who took charge of Fenerbahce Ulker last summer, after a 13-year long tenure at Panathinaikos.

The multi-winning Ivkovic, who turns 71 in October, had taken a two-year sabbatical from club basketball after leading Olympiacos Piraeus to the Turkish Airlines Euroleague title in 2012.

He remained however in his post as Serbia head coach until the end of EuroBasket 2013, leading a youthful national team to seventh place in the big tournament and consequently a berth at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014.

"I am here to help Anadolu fulfil its targets," Ivkovic told the Turkish media on Tuesday.

"It is a club with tradition in the Euroleague and we share the will to work in order to achieve big things together.

"The team will undergo a reconstruction since we want to work a lot with young players.

"This does not mean however that we will not be competitive."

The Serbian maestro has proven repeatedly over the past 40 years that he does not consider a young roster as an impediment for success.

Serbia head coach Dusan Ivkovic, Nenad Krstic  & Vladimir Stimac
Dusan Ivkovic retired from international duty after leading Serbia to the 2014 FIBA World Cup

He worked with some of the brightest talents in the history of European basketball during his tenure at the helm of the last ever united Yugloslavia national team and led them to a silver medal at the 1988 Olympics and then to back-to-back gold medals at EuroBasket 1989, 1990 World Championship and EuroBasket 1991.

Efes started pursuing his services since parting ways with former coach Oktay Mahmuti midway through the season.

The Turkish powerhouse decided as an interim step to hand the reins to coach Vangelis Angelou, who had served as an assistant to Ivkovic (at club level) during the best part of the last decade.

Angelou will remain at Efes and resume his previous role on the side of Ivkovic in the new season.

"We will keep working together with Vangelis in order to create the new Efes," Ivkovic said.

"I love Istanbul and all I can promise right now is that we will work very hard to make it.

"The off-season is going to be very important, as we aspire to create a team that combines youngsters with seasoned veterans.

"We will try our best to satisfy our fans and we are looking forward to the new season."

The veteran coach will coach in Turkey for the first time as his vastly decorated career had transpired exclusively at clubs in the former Yugoslavia, Greece and Russia.

He conquered the domestic league titles in all three countries, as well as two Euroleague crowns (both with Olympiacos), one Korac Cup (with Partizan in 1979), one Saporta Cup (with AEK Athens) and one Eurocup trophy (with Dynamo Moscow).

Efes however is presenting him with a new and entirely different challenge, to become the first coach in history that leads a Turkish club to the Euroleague title.

The exciting race to reach this milestone ahead of Obradovic at Fenerbahce and Galatasaray Liv Hospital boss Ergin Ataman, who have the same mission statement, gets under way in October.

 

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