The Greek basketball federation is close to securing a Greek passport for the American-born shooting guard Katie Douglas in time for the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women, according to women’s national team coach Kostas Missas.
“I expect to get the (Greek) passport for Katie Douglas. If we get her to play for Greece we will be much, much better this year,” Missas told heinnews in an interview at the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim, Germany.
“We are very, very close to getting her a passport. She has been married with a Greek guy for five years.”
Missas said he anxiously looks forward to teaming Douglas with his star Evanthia Maltsi, who was the leading scorer and Most Valuable Player at the 2009 EuroBasket Women.
“We may have some big support there. And Katie’s a great one. She’s a great player,” Missas said (the full interview to come soon).
Douglas, who was born in Indianapolis and played college basketball at Purdue, played two seasons in the Greek league and married Greek basketball agent Vasilis Giapalakis in 2005.
Missas’s team will face off with the United States, France and Senegal in Group B at the 2010 Worlds in the Czech Republic from September 23-October 3, 2010. And the coach said Douglas is not the only major recent news which will impact his team this summer.
Greek side Sony Athinaikos beat Nadezhda in a two-legged final to win the EuroCup Women title. And four players on the team played for the Greek national team at EuroBasket 2009 Women – guards Dimitra Kalentzou and Iouliti Lymoura as well as forwards Olga Chatzinikolaou and Afroditi Kosma – while veteran center Polymnia Saregkou has played for the Greek senior team since 1999.
“It was a great success for women’s basketball in Greece, especially after the women’s national team success. And five of the players on that club team play for the Greek national team so they get some great experience,” Missas said.
Still, the coach recognises that his team lacks an inside presence.
“The problem still exists that we dont have big, big, big players. That’s the problem of Greek women’s basketball. We will see what we will do this year. That’s our big problem and we will try to solve it with pressure defense, traps, this and that,” said Missas.
“We’ll use some tricks this year, too.”
Training camp for Greece starts on August 18.