Brian Beshara, a smooth transition to coaching - Apr 12, 2012
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Brian Beshara-Feghali (204-F-77, agency: Pro Management Agency, college: LSU), a name that hasn't been on the Lebanese basketball table for quite some time since he was pushed out of Sagesse in very strange conditions in 2010 while playing for free. Since then the former National Team Player (34 years), who scored 26 points in the 2004 Final win of Sagesse in the Asian Clubs Championships, has started a major shift in his career, preparing in the NCAA for a coaching future, while keeping in the possibilities a return to play in the Lebanese League in the right conditions.
Q- Hello Brian, its been well over a year and a half since you left Lebanon. What have you been doing?
A- Well I was offered an assistant coaching position at the University of New Orleans last year and I have always been interested in coaching so I decided to get my coaching career started. Our Head Coach moved to the University of Arizona, which is one of the very best colleges in the NCAA and I got a chance to move up a level also and go to Tulane University as their director of Player Development and Video. We just finished our first season last month and are busy as the host school for the Final Four which is going on this weekend in New Orleans as Im sure you know...so all in all it's been a fun great experience the last couple of seasons.
Q- What did you benefit from the College coaching experience?
A- The experience has been unbelievable...from reconnecting with all of my friend and contact in the NCAA and NBA basketball over here to the actual day to day experience of learning from some of the very best in the business. My head coach last year worked under Bob Knight at Indiana who is a Hall of Fame coach and coaching legend here in America and this year was another great experience watching and learning from our coach who had been an assistant at North Carolina St and Tennessee previously. It's really allowed me to evolve from the player I always was to start becoming the coach I think I am meant to be. Technically speaking, I have been consumed with the strategic side of the game and spent 1000's of hours watching and dissecting other teams and players so I just have an even deeper comfort level with the game to compliment my experiences and feel for the game I had as a player.
Q- Have you been practicing or playing any kind of basketball?
A- I have played in friendly leagues and pickup games just for fun and to stay in shape but coaching has been my priority and coaching here really dominates your time if you want to do it well. I still beat our players in shooting games and short games of 1 on 1 though from time to time just to not let them get too satisfied with themselves haha...
Q- Are you still following the Lebanese basketball news and teams?
A- I am actually...my experience playing in Lebanon was a real blessing and I will always follow how things go over there. It looks like things have not changed too much at the top of the league with Riyadi and Champville still apart from the rest but it's nice to see the some new teams show some ambition and positive results this year...it would be great to see Sagesse and Moutahed get back to where they have been in the past and where I was fortunate to be a part of some very good teams.
Q- How do you think can Lebanese basketball improve in the short term
A- In the short term I would just say to focus on the best interests of the game and only the game. No individual or group or team is more important than the game and I think some short sightedness and maybe greed has caused basketball to fall from where it was during the late 90's and early 2000's. We need to have an abundance mentality rather than a scarcity or zero-sum mentality...there is enough success to go around for everyone and the better and more marketable basketball becomes in general the better it will be for everyone.
I think it's a shame to be honest to see what happened with the national team for instance. As everyone knows, we almost beat China in my last time playing for Lebanon and I had not injured my knee severely in the beginning of the tournament we would have had a great great chance to win the whole tournament. We really had some high level talent playing together and the entire core of the team Jackson, Matt, Jean, Fadi, Ali, myself and others were all still capable of playing at a high level along with some nice young developing talent to draw from. We were on the verge of becoming dominant in Asian basketball if we had stayed the course and put the game of basketball before any other issue. Now nobody is afraid of Lebanese Basketball unfortunately
On the bright side I do see some positive things happening with the local league so I hope this can continue while we suffer through a difficult time on the National Team side. Basketball in Lebanon has an incredible potential and I hope it realizes this potential locally and on the world level.
Q- Any chances of seeing you again as a Player in Lebanon?
A- I would never say never...ive only just turned 34 and my body has been able to stay fresh from not playing 60-80 games a year for the past few years. But that said, my last year there was difficult after passing up a big contract to try and help Sagesse through the issues they were and still seem to be going through so it would just have to feel like a really good situation with a management that had the resources, ambition, and professional mentality to be champions. I dont feel like I have anything left to prove as a player but the challenge of helping to build a champion is definitely the next focus of my career wherever I am...as a player or a coach.
Q- What are you future plans for this coming season?
A- Right now, I really enjoy my situation at Tulane but this is the time of year a lot of movement happens in college basketball...pretty much every coach in the country is in New Orleans for the final four so I am looking forward to touching base with all of my friends in the business and seeing what everyone is up to and if any other interesting opportunities open up here at Tulane or maybe somewhere else.
Q- Any wish list you might have for yourself basketball wise?
A- Well I am looking forward to being a head coach one day as soon as possible...the last two years have given me confidence that I am ready to take this challenge. Im also definitely looking forward to coming back to Lebanon soon for vacation or professionally...either one is fine with me as long as I get to visit soon!
Kymis ink Daniel Orton, ex Mayrouba - 13 hours ago
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GS Kymis (A1) signed 27-year old American forward Daniel Orton (208-116kg-90, college: Kentucky). He was supposed to play at Mayrouba in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. The most of last summer Orton spent at Hunan in Chinese NBL where in 25 games he had very impressive stats: 22.3ppg, 12.8rpg, 3.6apg, 1.4spg and 2.5bpg. He also played earlier that season for Leones in Puerto Rican BSN. In four games he recorded 8.3ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg and 1.3bpg. In 2010 Orton was drafted by Orkando Magic (NBA... [read more]
GS Kymis (A1) signed 27-year old American forward Daniel Orton (208-116kg-90, college: Kentucky). He was supposed to play at Mayrouba in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. The most of last summer Orton spent at Hunan in Chinese NBL where in 25 games he had very impressive stats: 22.3ppg, 12.8rpg, 3.6apg, 1.4spg and 2.5bpg. He also played earlier that season for Leones in Puerto Rican BSN. In four games he recorded 8.3ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.8apg, 1.0spg and 1.3bpg. In 2010 Orton was drafted by Orkando Magic (NBA) in first round (29th overall). He attended University of Kentucky and it is his seventh season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Orton won NBA Northwest Division championship title in 2013. He was also voted USBasket.com All-D-League Honorable Mention back in 2013. Orton is quite experienced player. He has played in five different countries on four different continents (Europe, Asia, Latin America and of course North America). Orton has played previously professionally in Mexico (Fuerza Regia), Philippines (Star Hotshots), NBA (Phi.76ers, Washington Wizards and Oklahoma City Thunder), Greece (AEK Athens) and D-League (Santa Cruz Warriors, Maine Red Claws and Grand Rapids Drive). He could be described:
(by Borko Popic for NBADraft.net in 2010)
An intriguing big with a next level body and an extremely long wingspan … He has a wide and developed frame and has the potential to add further mass … A deceptive athlete, he gets off the ground well and sneaks up on people thanks to his length … Physically, he has all the tools to be an inside force in the future. Very careless with the ball, he makes poor decisions and throws it away very frequently … He tries to make passes that have no chance of finding the target.
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 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... [read more]
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 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.
Defending champion Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut (Pepsi LBL) strenghtened its coaching staff by adding 42-year old Greek coach Evangelos Ziagkos. He will be an assistant to Ahmad Farran. Ziagkos coached most recently at Doxa Lefkadas in Greek A2 League. He received Eurobasket.com All-Greek B League Coach of the Year Award previous season. Ziagkos has coached also professionally for other Greece teams. By Eurobasket Data Center Check also Complete Transfers List in Lebanon [read more]
Ziagkos coached most recently atDoxa Lefkadas in Greek A2 League. He received Eurobasket.com All-Greek B League Coach of the Year Award previous season. Ziagkos has coached also professionally for other Greece teams.
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