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Kuwaiti Basketball (Men)

Interview with Coach Oliver Vidin - Aug 18, 2011

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Eurobasket got a tip on a promising young Serbian Head basketball Coach from Kevin Wilson the Director of International Scouting for the (NBA) New York Knicks. Whos responsible for their pick of Danilo Gallinari, lives in Barcelona and the Regal Barcelona team is his hometown club... He covers the burgeoning international basketball world, with special emphasis on the European scene. He joined the Knicks after four seasons in a similar capacity with (NBA) Utah Jazz... Prior to joining the Jazz, had a five-year career in European pro basketball, including management and individual player development... Native of Colorado raised in Southern California and attended Cal State Fullerton...

Kevin insisted that we do an interview with his close friend and successful Serbian Coach Oliver Vidin . While Coach Vidin prepares for his debut in the Middle East, Eurobasket spoke with him about his past success and future goals.

Eurobasket: Coach Oliver Vidin Thanks for taking the time out to speak with Eurobasket. After speaking with Kevin Wilson and hearing him express his support for you, I had to bring the spotlight on your career as a young experienced basketball coach. You are 34 years old, and have been coaching since 1996? Spent the first 10 years coaching in the Serbian League. Tell us a little about your career early on?

Coach Vidin: First of all, I want to thank eurobasket for contacting me, and Thank Kevin for the kind gesture Its an honor to be doing this interview today. Yes Its true; I have been a licensed basketball coach in many organizations in Yugoslavia since 1996. In that year I started as an assistant coach with the cadet mens U14team, in B.C. Red Star Belgrade. Soon after, I got an offer from B.C. Radivoje Korac and I started my first Head Coaching position with the mens U11-U12 team. In 1998 I got an invitation from the National Team Basketball Campthat is my first contact with National Team selections.
As the assistant coach of that National Team I gained many valuable skills that I use today while coaching youth categories on the highest levels. We won a gold medal in the European Championships for cadets in Slovenia in 1999. That year I got an offer from one of the best clubs in Yugoslavia with a team full of young and talented players B.C. Zemun Drvomarket, and coaching the junior team mens U18. Two years after that, I got an offer to be the Head Coach of the senior team in B.C. Zemun Drvomarket. I figured I this was my chance to show my best and prove myself as a great Mens senior basketball Head Coach. Along the way, became assistant coach for the Junior National Team of Yugoslavi in 2000. We won the gold medal in the unofficial World Championship in Manheim-Germany which was one of my biggest achievements at that time. A few years after, we won a gold medal in 2007 with the Junior National Team of Serbia during the European Championships for juniors in Madrid-Spain. In 2007/2008 I signed for B.C.Vizura as a first assistant coach and we finished 2nd in the Serbian league Div 1 and qualified for the Serbian Super league with the youngest team in the country. After a successful season I got an offer to go abroad and sign in Slovakian Extra league as a Head Coach in B.C. Dolny Kubin after a successful year I got an offer from the famous club in Slovakia Inter Bratislava where I stayed for two seasons.

Eurobasket: You seemed to have had a lot of success with younger players So the last two seasons you coached B.C Inter Bratislava? Was this a young club as well? What were the major factors in your season results?

Coach Vidin: Yes, B.C.Inter Bratislava was the youngest team in the league and we met all goals in the first season. Seven out of twelve players got invitations to play for the National Teams U-20 and U-18

Eurobasket: As Head Coach of the U-20 National team in Slovakia. How were you selected as the National Team Coach? And how did you find the challenge coaching young players in Slovakia?

Coach Vidin: In 2010 I was honored as Coach of the Year in the Slovakian Extra league because of the level of play from my players in the playoffs. I think thats the reason why I got the invitation from National Federation of Slovakia to be the Head Coach of U-20 Men National Team. Slovakian young players are not the same level as Serbian players. But they are very talented players and all they only need hard work for gain big success. My biggest challenge was to raise their level of play for the young players and to try to develop their individual skills on a higher level. I believe I succeeded in that because one of the players Tomas Mrvis from U-20 became a starter for the Senior National Team in the same season.

Eurobasket: So you had a successful introduction in Serbia, and decided to take your talents elsewhere Gained a wealth of knowledge and success in Slovakia with a short stop in Finland, tell us about your experience in Finland, and was it hard for you to make the transition?

Coach Vidin: In Finland I was the main lecture at the Basketball Clinic for Coaches in Tampere 2008 and 2009. I had a great experience with Finnish basketball players and coaches, because they are willing to learn. It is not hard for me to be outside of my country Actually I love to meet new people, new nations and new cultures. First goal when I got to Slovakia was to learn Slovakian language. I was lucky because I also speak Macedonian and they have many similarities.

Eurobasket: You have expressed your interest in coaching in the GCC, and currently negotiating with a few Arab clubs. What could you bring to locations like Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi to name a few? Do you have any experience in the Middle East?

Coach Vidin: Actually, I already feel like I am working in Middle East countries, because a very good friend of mine was the National Team Coach of Iran (took Iran to Olympic games) and Philippines Rajko Toroman and six years National Coach of Kuwait Zoran Kreckovic told me very good things about the native people and only good things about Middle East. This is why I am so sure that I have very good chance to promote myself in the best way and that is by winning games and taking the best performances from local players in cooperation with few import players. Also my goals will be to raise the level of play with my club to the highest level to compete for the league championship.

Eurobasket: You have your own training service Vidin professional training service where you develop and implement techniques and skills programs for professional basketball players. I know you worked with many professionals to provide this service, to include Nenad Krstic when he was with the New Jersey Nets (NBA). Can you tell Eurobasket a little about this training you provide, and how you were able to get the likes of Nenard Krstic Boston Celtics NBA, Aleksandar Capin Union Olimpija (Euroleague) and Marko Jovanovic (Pistons NBA Summer League) involved?

Coach Vidin: Yes, thats true. Throughout the summer I worked with high level players and every year there are different players. The players I work with are mostly from the NBA level and Euroleague level. I worked with Nenad Krsticon the Junior National Team, and after that many summers we worked to improve individual techniques and skills. The same story is with Aleksandar Capin, I worked with him one summer and that season he was the best three point shooter in first A1 Italian league. This is very important because I know that this same way of training can be used in Middle East countries because we have an excellent example with the way Rajko Toroman took a very good Iranian player Hamed Haddadi a made him into a very good NBA player .

Eurobasket: How could a club utilize your training, and experience in the Middle East? Would you be able to incorporate your training into everyday practice for your club?

Coach Vidin: Thats for sure. All you need as a good coach is to believe in players who have talent and great willing to become a player on the highest level. Serbian coaches have specific schools and ways to incorporate training on any level of players, thats why we have so many Serbian coaches in the Middle East with big success.

Eurobasket: Do you speak or understand Arabic? How would this help or decrease your chances of success?

Coach Vidin: I am willing to learn. Off course that will increase my chance to succeed and it will be much easier to communicate with players and people on and off of court.

Eurobasket: Thanks for speaking with us on your career, and hopefully we get a chance to interview you after your first year of Middle East Basketball. Is there anything you would like Clubs and players to know about Oliver Vidin ?

Coach Vidin: Well, I dont like to talk too much about myself. My results will speak for themselves. I believe that I will have a good time in Middle East countries and will help to put Arabic basketball on a higher level. If anyone is interested and are basketball friends, and want to ask me anything related to basketball training, they can contact me on: Thank you for your interview, and I hope we will stay in contact.
Best regards to Eurobasket.
Coach, Oliver Vidin


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