The Basketball Federation of Slovenia (KZS) will be on the lookout for a new national team coach after legendary tactician Bozidar Maljkovic stepped down. The 61- year old Serbian leaves with just under a year left until the Basketball World Cup 2014 in Spain, but insisted the time was right to step away.
“We (Maljkovic and KZS) have had three wonderful years together,” the coach said in an official statement.
“Thank you to everyone at the Basketball Federation of Slovenia, to the players, fans and the media for a fantastic attitude and great support in my work with the Slovenian national team.
“It’s true that I will not coach, but I’m not leaving Slovenian basketball, as we will forever remain great friends.”
Bozidar Maljkovic also stressed the quality in the current Slovenian squad and said the team could do well at next year´s World Cup.
“The Dragic (Goran and Zoran) brothers, Jaka Blazic, Edo Muric and other names provide a bright future,” he said.
“I’m convinced that Slovenia, with a little more luck and a complete lineup as well at the World Championships in Spain, will be among the favorites for the top spots.”
The veteran coach has been at the helm of the Slovenian NT over the past three years and guided the team to fifth place at this year´s EuroBasket in Ljubljana. Of course, many fans will be more familiar with Bozidar Maljkovic as one of the most successful tacticians in recent decades. He lifted the Euroleague crown with Panathinaikos in 1996 and the Euro Cup in 1989 and 1990 with Jugoplastika Split.
Maljkovic has also won major trophies in a host of European countries including Yugoslavia, Spain, France, and Greece.