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!
Al Hala (Premier League) inked 27-year old American center Todd O'Brien (211-110kg-89, college: UAB). He played in the summer at Sagesse in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. O'Brien managed to play in three leagues in three countries last year (!!!). In 13 Pepsi LBL games he recorded very impressive stats: 15.1ppg, 13.2rpg (leader !!!) and 1.0apg. The most of last season he spent at Al Arabi (D1) in Qatari league where in 18 games he averaged remarkable 22.3ppg, 17.9rpg (leader !!!), 2.1apg, 1.8spg and... [read more]
Al Hala (Premier League) inked 27-year old American center Todd O'Brien (211-110kg-89, college: UAB). He played in the summer at Sagesse in Lebanese Pepsi LBL. O'Brien managed to play in three leagues in three countries last year (!!!). In 13 Pepsi LBL games he recorded very impressive stats: 15.1ppg, 13.2rpg (leader !!!) and 1.0apg. The most of last season he spent at Al Arabi (D1) in Qatari league where in 18 games he averaged remarkable 22.3ppg, 17.9rpg (leader !!!), 2.1apg, 1.8spg and 1.4bpg. A very good season in his career as he was awarded Asia-Basket.com All-Qatar D1 Center of the Year and voted to 1st Team and voted to All-Imports Team. O'Brien also played for MKS Dabrowa Gornicza (TBL) in Polish league that season. But in two games he averaged just 1.5ppg, 2.5rpg (leader !!!) and 1.0bpg. O'Brien's team made it to the Patriot League Tournament Semifinals in 2008. He has quite traveled the world as his pro career brought him to three different continents (Europe, Asia and of course North America). O'Brien has played previously professionally in France (Nantes), Japan (Orange Vikings) and Latvia (Jekabpils). He attended University of Alabama at Birmingham until 2012 and it will be his fifth season in pro basketball.
Lebanon had a huge start against Kazakhstan the first game of the FIBA ASIA U18 which is being held In Iran; Lebanon cruised into a very easy win on the score of 97-37. Lebanon led from the first minutes and never looked back , the first quarter finished on the score of 24-11; The second quarter saw the same scenario and Lebanon finished the first half leading 51-22. The second half Lebanon continued to impose more its rhythm and cruising more to a bigger win and giving chance to all the... [read more]
Lebanon had a huge start against Kazakhstan the first game of the FIBA ASIA U18 which is being held In Iran; Lebanon cruised into a very easy win on the score of 97-37. Lebanon led from the first minutes and never looked back , the first quarter finished on the score of 24-11; The second quarter saw the same scenario and Lebanon finished the first half leading 51-22. The second half Lebanon continued to impose more its rhythm and cruising more to a bigger win and giving chance to all the players to participate in this big win , the score at the end of the third was 76-29. The last quarter was the same like the first 3 quarters , a big dominance for Lebanon to finish the game on the score of 97-37. Salin Alaeddine led all scorers with 23points , Mark Khouri had a big game with 18points & 13 rebounds. Lebanon next game will be against Korea which is expected to be very difficult game.
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