I’m not saying I wasn’t excited about the two-day scientific conference, even though I was just interested, not a lecturer or organizer. After all, the prestigious authorities of basketball were legendary names whose performance, whether in physical terms or in connection with the Internet, is hard to imagine or even believe.
Take, for example, Geno Auriemma, the father of the Connecticut University women’s team, the head coach from Italy, who started his 37th season in the fall at the head of the UConn Huskies and who won 11 NCAA championships in 2012 and 2016 for the U.S. national team. as federal captain, he led his ensemble to an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship triumph in 2010 and 2014. And the fact that his performance was especially topical at the moment is the fact that the coach of the greatest hope in Hungarian women’s basketball, Dorka Juhász (who happens to be a student of the Rátgéber Academy), is coached at Tonns in UConn Huskies.
Or Ettore Messina, head coach of the Olympia Milano. He has won the Euroleague four times with his Italian mage teams, but perhaps even more bravely than that, for his European existence between 2014 and 2019, he was an assistant to the legendary Gregg Popovich on the San Antonio Spurs team.
What about Pini Gershon? The Israeli master led Maccabi Tel-Aviv to a 90-78 victory against Tau Ceramica Vitoria-Gasteiz of the Basque Country, which also featured Cornelius David, in his most exciting Euroleague final of all time.
If we were to forget Szonja Petrovics-Vaszics, one of the greatest European basketball players of all time, we would commit an unforgivable sin, just as we would if László Németh, the former president of the National Association of Hungarian Basketball Players, led the English, British and Icelandic national teams. we would miss out on an expert in malt whiskey and ale-type English beers.
And then we didn’t even talk about the authorities of South Slavic basketball, Igor Jukics, Nenad Trunics, Janez Drvaric, the mentor coach of Virtus Bologna, Fabio Fossati, all of whom are connected to the National Basketball team led by László Rátgéber.
So, I didn’t even believe that this All-Star field would parade here at the National Basketball Academy in Pécs.
Then came the moment of truth, and the opening speeches were in a nice line. Ferencé Szalay, President of MKOSZ, proudly mentioned that basketball has been in Hungary for 110 years and is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the association’s independence this year. The figure shocked the audience: 24,000 people played basketball in Hungary in 210, today there are sixty thousand more!
Michael Schwarz, head of national federations and coaching at FIBA Europe, has not been able to praise the science fiction facilities of the Rátgéber-led academy, which not only rivals but surpasses the infrastructural capabilities of similar centers of excellence in Western Europe. . The German professional who completed his high school studies in the United States did not run out of high school markers.
As a host, László Rátgéber pointed out that nowadays the job definition of a basketball coach is no longer a basketball coach, but a training technology manageras he put it.
Compared to the times when he appeared in Pécs in 1993, and he had only one employee at the Lauber Dezső Sports Hall, named Ilike, the serf, now a small army is working under his hand.
From the second to the fitness and mental trainers, the dietitian and sleep expert, to various video analysts, and even the devil knows what kind of specialists.
Nowadays, when nearly a hundred or more matches are played in a season in the NBA and Euroleague, the team whose players recover and relax faster comes first! The master said.
As a striker for his remarks, Rátgéber announced that James Nnaji, a Nigerian young man who had fled the academy a few months ago, made his debut at the Spanish Championships in FC Spain at the end of the week.
And once he made his debut, he proved to be the most successful debut of all time, also obscuring the 1997 debut of the legendary Juan Carlos Navarro.
Nnaji – who spent two years at the National Basketball Academy – scored 10 points and 5-5 rebounds and a block in 19 minutes and earned the glorifying words of his coach Sarunas Jasikevicius. (A small beauty flaw is that the match was won by the opponent, BAXI Manresa, 96-95 in Palau Blaugrana …)
Tamás Sterbenz, the rector of the University of Physical Education, did not miss his inaugural speech, and the former national team basketball player emphasized that he owes everything to his beloved sport, including the fact that he is now the rector of TE, apostrophized as a citadel of Hungarian sports. Together with Rátgéber, they revived the heroic times of the good twenty years ago, when the master set Sterbenz in one of the training sessions as the federal captain of the women’s national team, because there were not ten of them …
As the closing word of his remarks, Rátgéber underlined: since the world standard has already arrived in Hungarian sports from an infrastructural point of view, success can now only depend on the human factor. Which imposes a great deal of responsibility on Hungarian professionals, as it is no longer possible to look for excuses if the result is missed …
Then the star parade began. Auriemma logged in from the United States – the video interview was filmed by Rátgéberék – and pointed out, among other things, the fundamental difference between European and American female basketball players.
By the age of eighteen, Europeans are better educated because they play less and train a lot, he stressed. “But when Americans get into college, the dice turn around.” As a result of hard and targeted training, Europeans are overtaken, and when they graduate at the age of 22, they are better.
Auriemma spoke about Dorka Juhász, who is playing his first season on the UConn team.
Dorka is my most educated player, he said.
Pini Gershon’s suggestive performance went live via the internet, so there was an opportunity to ask open-ended questions as well. The topic was exciting: how to select and contract players to top European teams. Gershon’s conclusion was clear: players with complementary knowledge need to be certified, not ones who can hinder the other on the field.
Ettore Messina talked about recording, Rátgéber did a meaningful interview with the Italian specialist. Messina talked about where he envisions basketball. The Italian coach believes the increasingly taller, stronger and faster players have outgrown the pitch, hence the throwing limit is pushed even further as the tight defense closes the area under the slate and around the triple line.
The snipers of the future will be able to get the ball into the ring from 8-9 meters away, Messina indicated.
Professor Lajos Mocsai, chairman of the board of trustees of the University of Physical Education, spoke about the emergence of the sports science approach in support of practical work, followed by the highlight of the day, Szonja Vaszicshis account about a career that is rare.
The 189-centimeter basketball lady began her career in the Crvena zvezda, and after a year in Spain and Bourges, at the age of 18, in 2008, she was handed over to the Spartak Moscow team by László Rátgéber. Where at first there were of course only twelfth players in the shadow of stars like Diana Taurasi or Sue Bird. It wasn’t easy to process all of this, but these problems dwarfed the fact that by the age of twenty he was past two cruciate ligament tears in his right knee!
I don’t deny it occurred to me that was it, I won’t continue, the player admitted.
However, he has recovered, not only in the true sense of the word, but also in the figurative sense. And he became a puller for the Spartak, where he spent a total of six years. In the meantime, he was selected as the Euroleague Final Four MVP three times, and when he returned to the national team of Serbia at the Rio Olympics in 2016, he won the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. he was awarded the MVP title.
Then, after a disappointing fourth place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, she retired at the age of 32, having now become married and now focusing on starting a family.
László Németh, Nenad Trunics from Serbia, and Kornél Dávid, the only Hungarian NBA player to date, have been experts in the discovery and identification of talent on Thursday and Friday. the current champion is the Milwaukee Bucks scout, ”he said.
Professor Németh began his vigorous lecture as follows:
Ladies and gentlemen, this is where the captain speaks, RátgébAir begins his dizzying soar!
What could have followed such an introduction was a fascinating journey through the exciting field of talent identification. The conclusion of which was the following quote from NBA star Kevin Durant:
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work. English: Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work.
Kornél Dávid illustrated by his own example that the truth of the above saying was true, as he was not the most brilliant Hungarian talent of his time, yet he was the only one to get to the Promised Land, the NBA, and the then defending Chicago Bulls. Even at a relatively old age, 27, which was both an advantage and a disadvantage.
The conference, which was held in the presence of a large number of students, was attended by people from all over the country, Debrecen, the Puskás Academy in Felcsút, and even our easternmost tip of historical Hungary, Háromszék, or thirty of our colleagues, specifically Sepsiszentgyörgy.
Our basketball fool Szekler brothers gladly took the eight-hundred-and-a-six hundred-kilometer-long minibus tour, and on Friday afternoon none of them said they would regret the pilgrimage.
(Cover image: József Németh)