Beit Halachmi takes over Israel National Team

May 23, 2023 | Holyland Hoops

The Israel Basketball Association unveiled Ariel Beit Halachmi as the new head coach of the National Team which will begin Olympic Pre-Qualifying in August. The veteran Israeli bench boss has coached a myriad of teams and won back-to-back European Championships with the Under-20 National Team in 2018 and 2019 with Deni Avdija being a key factor in both tournaments.

After a pair of disappointing campaigns, the 2022 Eurobasket and 2023 World Cup qualifying tournament, the IBBA has turned over the team to arguably their most successful youth coach with the hope that the players he nurtured will be able to replicate those feats with the senior team.

The 57-year old who was most recently in charge of Hapoel Gilboa Galil and Hapoel Eilat touched on a number of topics as he readies to open camp mid-July with the hope of adding a naturalized player as well as Deni Avdija to the roster that will play in Estonia in August.

Ariel Beit Halachmi – Photo Credit: IBBA

“This is a big honor for me and something that I have waited for a long time,” Beit Halachmi began. “We are beginning a new campaign with the National Team which is the Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament and the last time we were a part of the Games was back in 1952. We want to have good results so that we can be ranked higher in the next competitions.”

“We will play against a number of National Teams in what will be a very tough tournament. We will open camp up on July 18 which allows players to rest up and relax after their club seasons. We are giving them the longest possible rest time that we can.”

Beit Halachmi also spoke about what it means to him for a player to be a part of the blue-and-white, “To be a player for the Israel national team is an obligation and above all it’s about love and pride. It’s much bigger than what we do on a day to day basis with regular club basketball. The players are role models for all of the players who are playing in every youth league. We will always play for the name on the uniform and give everything that we can. If we do that the results will also come.”

Ariel Beit Halachmi – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

Last summer Israel had a very disappointing Eurobasket campaign that saw some strife within the team due to the results. But Beit Halachmi wants to put that in the distant past as he builds his own squad that he will run with going forward.

“I don’t want to go into last summer and I have been with the IBBA for many years and I understand the dynamics. We are looking ahead with the hope that everyone in our group will be together and play as one team. I also don’t want to go into specific players and the national team as a national team. We sent out letters to 25 players that are going to be a part of our program some players have said yes and some no.”

Deni Avdija – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

The most important player for the Israel National Team is no doubt Deni Avdija who will enter his fourth season in the NBA. However, while Avdija wants to play with the team this summer an answer will only be given once there is more clarity with the Wizards management situation, “We can’t get a final answer on Deni Avdija’s participation until the Wizards have a GM despite his desire to play for the national team.”

Another hot topic for Beit Halachmi is that of adding a naturalized player to the roster ahead of the summer just as other national teams have done including Spain with Maccabi Tel Aviv guard Lorenzo Brown.

“We are looking for a combo guard that can be available during the windows and one that is in the country. After discussion with the player, we want Khadeen Carrington to be in the naturalized role for us.”

Khadeen Carrington – Photo Credit: Yehuda Halickman

“The summer is the only time to build a base for the team and the next window after will only be in February. The naturalized player was brought up by the IBBA and we went for it. I had conversations with the player but the ultimate decision is made by the IBBA. We have a lack of players in the area of a scoring guard and that is where the game of basketball is going.”

Beit Halachmi who won’t be continuing with the relegated Gilboa Galil doesn’t want to set concrete goals but is looking forward to a team that will play together in a style that is unique to the national team. I won’t be continuing as head coach of Hapoel Gilboa Galil.

“I believe that if we want to succeed we can’t play like the majority of teams because we don’t have the ability to. I want to instill some of the things I did with the Youth National Team but we need a different style and this summer we will work on a different type of style and one that will help us.”

Ariel Beit Halachmi – Photo Credit: FIBA.Basketball

“We have to first and foremost be a team and we need to see which player will be a part of the team. We want to go as far as we can but we also have to be modest and try to bring the best results that we can.”

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