By John Askounis/ email@example.com
Tunisia introduced Dirk Bauermann as the head coach of its national team on Saturday, FIBA relays. The 62-year-old German replaced Mario Palma at the helm of the men’s senior squad.
His lengthy career includes three FIBA World Cup gigs with Germany in 1994, 2006 and 2010, also four consecutive EuroBasket appearances with his country from 2005 through 2011. Additionally assumed head coaching responsibilities at Poland and Iran.
“I feel really honored by the offer. It’s always a great privilege to be the national team coach of a country because it’s more than just about basketball,” he said, “You represent the country with the team that you’re coaching. To be the head coach of a great country of Tunisia is just a wonderful honor.”
Tunisia will travel to Split for Croatia’s 2020 Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Will face the hosts and Brazil, while Germany, Russia and Mexico make out the other group. The top national team will punch in an Olympic ticket. Will also contest Central African Republic, DR Congo and Madagascar for one of the three 2021 Afrobasket berths of the group.
“I was very happy when the federation contacted me. I didn’t have to think long,” pointed out Bauermann, “I have watched a number of games, winning the African Championships, qualifying for big international tournaments like the Olympics in 2012 and the World Cup last year.”
“We all know how difficult that will be,” he added, “African basketball is getting stronger and stronger. When you have won medals before everybody wants to beat you. It’s going to be challenging but I am looking forward to it.”