Mike Fratello has parted ways as head coach of the Ukraine national side it was reported today.
Basketball writer Oleksandr Proshuta broke the news on Twitter.
BREAKING: Mike Fratello will NOT continue as head coach of Ukraine NT
— Oleksandr Proshuta (@alex_proshuta) May 28, 2015
No reason for Fratello’s departure was officially given but with Oleksandr Volkov not considered to stand for another term as president of the Ukrainian Basketball Federation, the news comes as no surprise.
Mikhail Brodskiy was instead elected as the new president of the Federation and though no candidates for the vacant coaching role have been revealed, Kirill Bolshakov and Latvian Karlis Muiznieks seem to be early contenders.
And with the Ukraine going in a new direction, Fratello’s time with the national side comes to an end as he guided the nation to heights it’s never been before as an independent country in international basketball.
The former Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies playcaller agreed to join the national side in 2011 as a favour to Volkov, whom Fratello coached when he was with the Hawks.
Since then the Ukraine went from strength to strength. Under Fratello’s leadership, they finished sixth and qualified for the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain.
The Ukrainians though failed to get out of the group stages that featured Turkey and the eventual winners, the USA.
Ukraine’s involvement in the World Cup though gave them an automatic place at Eurobasket 2015, which they were originally going to host but with the growing political unrest in the country, they stepped down.
Ukraine will instead compete in Latvia’s capital city of Riga for their opening Eurobasket encounters, that will see them face the hosts, Lithuania, Belgium, Estonia and Czech Republic.