Devotion
EUROLEAGUE INTERVIEWS 2007-2008
by: Frank Lawlor, Euroleague.net
May 13, 2008
Trajan Langdon - CSKA Moscow
His basketball journey began in one famous land of the north, Alaska, and has found glory in another, the Russian capital of Moscow. In between, CSKA Moscow guard Trajan Langdon has played the sport at the highest levels possible. His professional career hit a peak on May 4, 2008 with CSKA's second Euroleague title in three seasons after a Final Four in which he was voted MVP and named to the All-Euroleague First Team. Langdon, who turns 32 this week, has found his niche on the other side of the world from where he started, although on occasion, as he says in this Euroleague.net interview, he has gotten closer to home than even he expected. "Vladivostok is on the water, and looking out across it I realized that Alaska was probably a two- or three-hour flight away, which is a crazy way to come all around the world," Langdon told Euroleague.net "And it did enter my mind that some of the experiences I have had, using basketball as a tool and as a guide, are really unbelievable..." more
by: Euroleague.net
April 24, 2008
Ettore Messina - CSKA Moscow
As one of just two Final Four participants who will be honored in Madrid among the 50 greatest contributors to the first half-century of European club basketball, CSKA Moscow head coach Ettore Messina is already on the short list of Europe’s best ever. With just two more wins in Madrid, however, he would find himself in even more exclusive company. Messina is shooting for his fourth Euroleague title – a feat accomplished by only four coaches to date - while he tries to lead CSKA's to its sixth trophy and second place on the all-time list for clubs. CSKA has overcome injuries to reach a record sixth straight Final Four – the third under Messina – and after a season in which other giants fell, he is cautiously confident about his team's chances in Madrid. "This year, we probably had more talent than ever before, but even more injuries than before," Messina told Euroleague.net. "We had to reshape our chemistry a couple times and we went through difficult moments. We were down to Roma at home in our first Top 16 game, and then obviously lost at home in our first playoff game with Olympiacos. I know that the way forward is difficult, but for sure I think that for us to have won the series with Olympiacos has given us some extra edge, I hope, for the Final Four." more
by: Euroleague.net
April 24, 2008
Zvi Sherf - Maccabi Elite
Zvika Sherf of Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv arrives at the 2008 Euroleague Final Four in Madrid as one of the most experienced head coaches to never have lifted the Euroleague crown. He has come close, however – twice reaching the continental title game with Maccabi – and he won another European trophy, the 1993 Cup Winners' Cup with Aris Thessaloniki. Sherf's bench experience is vast, covering more than a quarter-century with teams from Israel, Greece, France, Russia and Poland. All his experience and skills were put to the test when he took over the Maccabi job in January and boldly told his players that they would reach the Final Four. Lo and behold, Sherf proceeded to guide them directly to that goal, and now Maccabi has another golden opportunity to add to its Euroleague legend. In this Euroleague.net interview, Sherf speaks about what he did to turn Maccabi around this season, about some of his top players and about today's game as compared with when he started as a coach. He also makes a strong case for himself as a basketball ambassador. "I want to see basketball reach the popularity everywhere like it is here in Israel, where it's even with soccer," Sherf told Euroleague.net. "That needs to be our goal...Basketball is an amazing game that needs to be played in more communities and to get more children playing." more
by: Euroleague.net
April 24, 2008
Neven Spahija - Tau Ceramica
This may be Tau Ceramica head coach Neven Spahija's first Final Four appearance, but that doesn't mean he is lacking experience. Spahija has been a winner at every step of his career, lifting trophies in five separate domestic competitions, not to mention reaching the first ULEB Cup Final. Now, while leading Tau to its fourth straight Final Four in his first season with the club, Spahija looks to add his name to an exclusive list of Euroleague champions as well. Coming from humble beginnings and traveling a long road before getting this chance, the importance of this Final Four moment - and the opportunity it represents to become a champion - is very clear to Spahija, one of the most devoted coaches around. "I have done everything in my career with the idea of coming to the Final Four someday," Spahija told Euroleague.net. "But, of course, not one of us can say that just going to the Final Four is enough. To win the Final Four is a dream for all of us, the best thing that we can do in our careers." more

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