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!
Elegant Sagesse Get Past Egyptian National Team - 6 hours ago
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193-G-84, college: CS Northridge) and Terrell Stoglin(185-G-91, college: Maryland) were able to find spaces in the Egyptian zone to knock down their shots. Sagesse were focused and energetic on... [read more]
Sagesse took on the Egyptian national team as both teams pursued the win to put one foot in the semi-finals. Sagesse started the game off well with good box outs, switching on defense, and hustle on every play. Todd was able to score from his favorite spot on couple of occasions. Michael Efevberha (193-G-84, college: CS Northridge) and Terrell Stoglin (185-G-91, college: Maryland) were able to find spaces in the Egyptian zone to knock down their shots. Sagesse were focused and energetic on both sides of the floor. The best first quarter for Sagesse in this tournament ended in their favor 26-14. In the second q, the Egyptians tried to get back into the game with a full-court defense and some quick plays with their HULK opening spaces under the rim ( Yeah a 2.25m guy is definitely a HULK, not a man). They were able to close the gap to 5 points. The Egyptians kept on pounding and found their touch from behind the arc to tie the game at 40. With 2 seconds left Bashir gave his team a 42-40 lead going into HT. In the beginning of the third, both teams traded buckets as the Egyptian defense started to suffocate the Lebanese offense. Todd O'brian continued his excellent performance to keep his team in the game. Terrell was being pushed and shoved all game long but was still able to score some hard buckets. Sagesse were able to maintain their lead 59-56. In the last q, Sagesse kept on fighting to maintain their lead. Couple of Terrell buckets and some great defending from Todd, Patrick and Bashir kept the lead with 5 min left. Sagesse shared the ball greatly with double teams always placed on Terrell and Mike. Players like Patrick found the gap to score a crucial shot and get the lead up to 5 with 3 min left. In the dying minutes, Sagesse looked for their go-to guy, none other than Terrell Stoglin who put the game to bed with couple of free throws. The game ended 81-75 in Sagesse's favor. Courtesy of: sports-961.com
Stoglin-less Sagesse Suffer Their First Loss Against Riyadi - 1 day ago
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Sagesse went into this game with some 'non-chalence' having played a tough game the day before against Mighty Sport and awaiting their crucial clash against the Egyptian national team. Coach Fouad Abou Chacra rested his star players as a win against the Egyptians is a must to qualify for the semis. The game started off slowly as both teams gave little importance to this game. Nonetheless, Ali Haidar was ready to ball. He blocked Sagesse's player on 4 different occasions limiting their mov... [read more]
Sagesse went into this game with some 'non-chalence' having played a tough game the day before against Mighty Sport and awaiting their crucial clash against the Egyptian national team. Coach Fouad Abou Chacra rested his star players as a win against the Egyptians is a must to qualify for the semis. The game started off slowly as both teams gave little importance to this game. Nonetheless, Ali Haidar was ready to ball. He blocked Sagesse's player on 4 different occasions limiting their movements under the rim. Amir Saoud (186-G-91)'s introduction gave a huge boost to the yellows as they ended the quarter up 17-12. In the second quarter, Riyadi clicked into gear and showed why they are the team to beat. They played that fast tempo offense that Sagesse's defense can't handle. Amir Saoud and Wael Arakji (194-PG-94) ran the floor greatly and with Ken Brown (180-PG-89, college: Philander Smith, agency: Octagon Europe) backing them up, they were on fire. They gap kept on getting bigger till Patrick Bou Abboud scored few consecutive shots to finish the half trailing 36-32. Same old same old in the third quarter as they pounded the greens early down low with many offensive rebounds. Sagesse were able to stay in the game with some go-to buckets from Patrick and a corner three from Bashir to cut the lead to 1. Soon after Ali Haidar and Wael Arakji took control of the game to score 4 consecutive buckets. Riyadi maintained their lead till the end of the q, 62-55. In the last quarter, both teams shared buckets but some crucial plays from Ismael Ahmad and Branko put Riyadi in the clear as Mohammad Ibrahim's effort were too little too late. Sagesse fall to a 74-85 defeat. Sagesse can't but take positive things from this game as all their players fought valiantly and the Lebanese players showed their real worth. Courtesy of: sports-961.com
Riyadi Breeze Past The Egyptian National Team in their Opening Game - 3 days ago
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19 after the first 10 minutes. In the second quarter, the Egyptian national team pounded the Lebanese basket down low as their frontcourt scored bucket after bucket. Yet Alade Aminu (210-F/C-87, college: Georgia Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) and Amir Saoud kept their team in contention with great hustle and resilience. Th... [read more]
After a slow start to the game, Riyadi trailed for the majority of the first quarter but a late surge from Ismael and co allowed Riyadi to get back and tie the game at 19 after the first 10 minutes. In the second quarter, the Egyptian national team pounded the Lebanese basket down low as their frontcourt scored bucket after bucket. Yet Alade Aminu (210-F/C-87, college: Georgia Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) and Amir Saoud kept their team in contention with great hustle and resilience. The half finished with Riyadi leading by just one, 37-36. The introduction of Ken Brown (180-PG-89, college: Philander Smith, agency: Octagon Europe) was very helpful for Riyadi as the offense was flowing freely with either Wael or Amir at the SG position. In the third quarter, Riyadi tried to play a faster offense to try and surpass the Egyptian defense before they get positioned. This Egyptian defense was hard to overcome with players standing at 2.27m and 2.18m under the basket. Speed and outside shots from Ismael, Jean, and Branko were the best solutions to break the Egyptian wall. Aminu was exceptional on both ends of the court as he limited second chance points for the opponent and scored his shots down low to give Riyadi a 66-50 3rd quater lead. It was same old same old in the fourth quarter as Riyadi took control of the game. Amir showed off his skills with Ken Brown doing whatever he likes on the court. The Lebanese champions won the game 85-69. Courtesy of: sports-961.com
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