YEREVAN (ArmeniaNow)—Carl Bardakian, a former NCAA Division I assistant basketball coach, will lead Armenia’s men’s national team in preparations for next summer’s FIBA European Division C Championship, it emerged on Tuesday.
The Basketball Federation of Armenia (BFA) said it had appointed its United States representative as the team’s head coach. Bardakian coached at Cleveland State University, and led the Los Angeles men’s team at the latest Pan-Armenian Games in Yerevan last August.
The BFA said it hoped the 41-year-old coach from Los Angeles would succeed in “gathering the best Armenian basketball players and achieving positive results.”
Speaking to ArmeniaNow from Los Angeles, Bardakian said he was “honored and grateful” for the opportunity granted to him by the BFA.
“President Hrachya Rostomyan and Vice-President Souren Zohrabyan have been tremendously supportive. Together, we have entered new groundbreaking territory. Our goal of uniting the best players from Armenia and the Diaspora to compete in FIBA Europe is on the verge of becoming a reality. There is no turning back,” said Bardakian.
Tom Odjakjian, an Associate Commissioner of the Big East Conference, said of the appointment: “There is no one more passionate about the growth and success of Armenian basketball than Carl Bardakian. No one waves the flag more proudly, or supports and promotes Armenia basketball more energetically. When I think of Armenian basketball, I think of one thing – Carl Bardakian.”
And Van Nuys’s Mike Danielian, a club SG MTV/BG 93 Wolfenbüttel guard playing in Germany, said: “Coach Bardakian tirelessly worked to make this dream become a reality for us. I am fully committed to playing for Armenia this summer.”
Armenia will apply to compete in the FIBA Europe Division C Men’s Basketball Championship, July 2-7, 2012. Upon acceptance by FIBA Europe, Armenia will compete against Scotland, Wales, Malta, Moldova, Andorra, Gibraltar and host country San Marino.