National Basketball Association (NBA) side Utah Jazz has announced that the team has hired Fotis Katsikaris as an assistant coach.
Katsikaris, who is the first-ever native Greek NBA assistant coach, joins the Jazz most recently from Iberostar Tenerife of the Liga ACB in Spain where he served as head coach.
The 51-year-old tactician has over 20 years of coaching experience in Europe on the club circuit as well as with international squads. He served as head coach of the Greek national team from 2014-16.
Jazz statement read: “Katsikaris has had other head coaching stints with Bilbao Basket, Valencia Basket, Lokomotiv Kuban, Dynamo St. Petersburg, Hapoel Jerusalem, AEK Athens, Ucam Murcia, Iberostar Tenerife and Aris B.C. With Bilbao, he helped the team reach the ACB final for the first time in their history and in 2012 their first EuroLeague quarterfinals where they played CSKA Moscow. Leading the team to the EuroCup Finals vs. Lokomotiv Kuban in 2013, he was named the 2013 EuroCup Coach of the Year.”
“As a player, Katsikaris started his senior career with Ionikos Nikaias at the age of 15, at the time setting a record for the youngest player to play in the top Greek Basket League. He played with Ionikos from 1982-88, moving to Sporting Athens from 1988-90, competing for AEK Athens from 1990-96 and finishing his career with Irakleio Crete from 1996-98. He began immediately as an assistant coach with AEK Athens following his playing career, serving in that role from 1998-03.”
“He began his coaching career under his mentor, the renowned Dušan Ivković, who has won multiple international championships and is a member of the FIBA Basketball Hall of Fame. Katsikaris also credits his former coach with AEK Athens and ex-BYU player, Krešimir Ćosić, as one of his biggest influences to begin coaching.”