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Veteran Missas takes the helm of Greece
ATHENS (FIBA EuroBasket 2017) - Greece announced early Tuesday afternoon that veteran coach Kostas Missas has taken the helm of the national team.
Missas, for a long time regarded as one of the best tacticians in the country and one that has also coached youth and women's national sides of the country, will lead the Greeks at FIBA EuroBasket 2017.
"Now I am facing the biggest challenge there is as a coach: to lead the team of his own country."Kostas Missas
Greece will play in Group A, in Helsinki, against Finland, Iceland, Slovenia, France and Poland.
"It's an honor and a big responsibility to be coach of the men's national team," the 63-year-old Missas said. "It's the team of our heart that generates strong emotions for all Greeks.
"I've had the pleasure since I was very young to be a member of the national team either as a player or as a coach and to experience all these emotions. And now I am facing the biggest challenge there is as a coach: to lead the team of his own country.
"We have to get to work immediately. In the coming days, after some final contacts, the rest of the technical staff will be announced, as well as the names of the players who will be called for the training camp."
Missas has made his mark on both the women's and men's national team programs.
His biggest achievement with the former was to guide them in 2009 to a first-ever qualification for a FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup.
Missas knows many of Greece's players after coaching youth teams
Almost immediately after that fifth-place finish at FIBA EuroBasket Women 2009 in Latvia, Missas steered Greece to the men's FIBA U20 European Championship in Rhodes. Players in that side are in the current senior team set-up like Evangelos Mantzaris, Kostas Sloukas, Kostas Papanikolaou and Georgios Bogris.
Known as a great teacher, Missas was a senior national team player himself, making 45 appearances.
Though Greece have yet to announce their squad ahead of the FIBA EuroBasket, the country has revealed some of its summer program.
Greece will host a tournament in Patras (August 7-8) that also features Romania and Ukraine and then take part in a Belgrade tournament with Montenegro and Serbia (August 11-12).
Greece will square off again from August 18-19 against Great Britain in two friendlies in London.
From August 23-25 in Athens at the famous Olympic stadium, OAKA, Greece will host the Eurobank Acropolis Tournament, taking on Serbia, Italy and Georgia.