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D1 Standings
 1. Al Kuwait 9-1 
 2. Kazma 9-1 
 3. Al Jahraa 8-2 
 4. Al Arabi 7-3 
 5. Al Qadsia 6-4 
 6. Al Nasar 6-4 
 7. Al Yarmook 4-6 
 8. Al Sahel 2-8 
 9. Al Tadhamon 2-8 
 10. Al Shabab 1-9 
 11. Al Sulaibikhat 1-9 
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Interviews

Interview with coach Toni Vujanic - Jan 16, 2017


POSTED BY:
EUROBASKET CENTER
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Toni Vujanic
Toni, thanks for talking to eurobasket.com. How is it going?
I appreciate opportunity to talk to eurobasket.. It's going OK with every new year and new challenges.

You've been travelling/coaching all over the world. In recent years you've setteled in middle-east. You've spent 8 years in 3 clubs in Lebanon - the longest streak than any other import coach. You are coaching in Kuwait this year. What makes this part of the world special for you?
Well somehow Middle East is my 2nd home..the place where I feel good and I'm on my top... the job isn't easy as many college's thinking in contrary very hard and very challenging but this is what keeps me going on.

What about basketball in Arab countries? How would you compare it with European?
Basketball in Arab country's is in gigantic lift and at the moment only what they need is extra organisation and good planning together with unified league equal to Euroleague.. there are surprising good talents in Morocco, Lebanon and even here in Kuwait that can easy play European leagues... but the amount of quality hours on training should be increased in Middle East.

What can you say about your current team and Kuwait basketball.

First Kuwait is very nice developed country with great life... Basketball in Kuwait is at the moment on its lowest point because of certain problems in Federation... the Kazma team is good organization with very interesting vision and team is at the moment in lift so we all hope to make a great season.

What can you say about your club managment and staff? Do you feel comfortable at your position?
Kazma is one of the top teams in Kuwait and Im very comfortable in my roll... its management with long term plan and little lack of necessery financial support and extra coaching stuff... the younger teams are in need of extra coaches and high level coordinator that will put all lines... but I guess soon all will come in his place with time.. at least I hope.

How was in Morocco?
Yes I spend 2 great years in Morocco and feel that basketball in Morocco has hidden potential but unfortunately not used always in good way... it's beautiful country with lot of talented future top players but very bad infrastructure and organisation... hope that better time will come because Morocco is great Sport minded country and deserve best.

The best player you have ever coached was ... ?
Well I coached many great players in my past years and I enjoyed working with them... I will not mentioned names because they all was part of my success and would not be far to give one name.

You have coached Saudi Arabian and Morocco National Teams in the past. What's the difference in coaching between NT and club?

The biggest difference between NT and club is short term projects. Actually shouldn't be a differents but in NT they expect in 15-20 days to create miracles and win major championships. I prefer long term work with NT but unfortunately it isn't appreciate by Federations. Only structured work and team camps during the season can create the big long term results that every1 expect. I was asked in 2012 to coach NT of Lebanon and I didn't accept just because of short term plan that didn't give big chances of success.

Did you have more opportunities, maybe in other coutries? Will you decide to coach another NT when you get such offer?
Yes every year are another offers and another possibility but I like long term work (2-3years) where in structured way you build from one team on slow way powerhouse. But again not every country work on same way and mostly is short term plans "do or die" where are coaches under great pressure and results are below expetations.

Where do you see yourself in few years? Still in Middle-East?

Yes, I see myself in future sure in Middle East. Basketball is Sport that connect people and at the moment most growing Sport in the world beside soccer is in Middle East. So this area is very much growing and give us coaches lot of challenges and opportunities to prove our qualitys.

Last question... what would you like to say to all American player who want to play in Arab countries?
Well every import is great addition to every club. He may be American, Serbian, Australian or whichever nationality. Middle East is place to be only if you have great attitude and adjust on culture and life... it's great place to build your future career only if u work hard and don't come thinking that Middle East basketball is far below your level. You will find yourself trapped and your performance will be poor. You need focus, determination., play hard and be all around player.

My thanks for this interview and keep doing great work. Eurobasket.com is connecting people/players different color, backgrounds, religion and it's the best possible promoter of sports in general.

Toni Vujanic.   




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