LITHUANIAN BOJEV APPOINTED MENS NEW HEAD COACH
Teesside Lions continue to strengthen their coaching team with the appointment of Lithuanian coach Serge Bojev as the new men’s coach.
Bojev will also be involved in the junior national league and community programmes working closely with club owner and coach James Thomson to further develop the basketball curriculum throughout the organisation.
Teesside now boast a trio of stellar coaches in James, American Charles Smith who joined in April, and now Serge to add an elite level European flavour of coaching.
Director of Coaching James Thomson is pleased to unveil Serge and has not wasted any time in getting to work with the new addition.
“A few months ago we were heavily reliant upon myself regarding the junior national league teams and we worked hard to bring in Charles. We have now added Serge and from my early indications, I believe he will be a game-changer at the club.
“I have made no attempt to disguise my ambitions to develop one of the best junior programmes in the UK and Serge and Charles are going to help us deliver this.
“Serge and I have already worked extensively on a number of areas in recent weeks. He will also be heavily involved in our Summer Camps. His willing and enthusiasm to help develop our junior programme was a key factor in his appointment.”
Serge will replace Oliver Hylands as Head Coach of the Men, as the club begin their new campaign in Division Two. Hylands led the team to an undefeated season in gaining promotion last season.
James explained the reason in the change, adding:
“Olly will go down in history as the coach who secured our promotion in an undefeated season and rightly so. However the player/coach role is a challenge and I know, from fulfilling the role myself, how difficult this is. One aspect has to give. You lose a little of the coach, or the player, it can’t be 100% effective in both roles.
“Olly is still a superb player and the addition of Serge will allow him to focus on playing. We now have the best of both worlds with a dedicated coach on the sideline and a dedicated player on the court.”
Serge will relocate to Teesside from Portsmouth where he was highly regarded within the Portsmouth organisation and community. Portsmouth Force Chairman Rob Milner said:
“Serge is a brilliant coach, he has an elite knowledge of the game and is extremely detailed and thorough. I am genuinely sorry to be losing him and wish him and the Teesside Lions the best for the future.”
Originally from Vilnius in Lithuania Serge was a high-level player until 1998 when he suffered a torn ACL, which at the time was a career ending injury for most athletes. Honours in his brief playing career included U17 Cup Champion in 1993 and Division Champions in 1997 with Sadata.
Lithuania is renowned for its basketball and has produced a great number of elite players. Lithuanian basketball is highly skilled and highly technical. Serge went to the same school as the Lavrinovich brothers who are Lithuanian international players and have enjoyed a long 26 year professional career culminating at London Royals in the BBL. Other famous Lithuanian players include Arvydas Sabonis, Domantas Sabonis, Sarunas Jasikevicius & Jonas Valanciunas to name but a few.
Basketball in Lithuania is very much a part of their DNA. Despite their relatively small population, at just 2.8m people, the country is a giant on the International basketball stage, and have been among the best teams in the world for decades.
Serge will now bring his passion, knowledge and basketball DNA to Teesside and is looking forward to starting his new role. When asked what he will bring, the 46 year old replied:
“I am a passionate coach. I am ambitious, positive, loud, strict and honest. I enjoy developing players and witnessing their evolution. I also take pride in developing life skills in addition to basketball and I know how important this is to James at Teesside.
“I believe that fundamentals, effort and simplicity are the key to success.
“My philosophy is emphasising the right things and focussing on the critical few, as opposed to the trivial many.
“I am looking forward to meeting the players, coaches and fans at the club and am excited to work with James bring more success to the area.”