It didn’t take long for Hapoel Beer Sheva to find a new coach to replace Rami Hadar who resigned last week as Christoforos Livadiotis was named as the club’s new bench boss earlier in the week.
The 41-year old had been with Keravnos Strovolou since the 2015/16 season and had captured the Cyrus league title twice along with winning both the Cup and SuperCup two times a piece as well. The Cypriot also guided Keravnos to the Top 16 in the Europe Cup as well taking the club to the Champions League Group Stages. Livadiotis was also an assistant with the Cyprus National team and served the same role with APOEL and in Romania.
While Hapoel Beer Sheva named their first ever foreign coach, the Ministry of Sport had frozen the hiring but after reviewing Livadiotis it was proven that he met the requirements set down last year for bringing in coaches from abroad.
To learn more about the southern Reds new bench boss, The Sports Rabbi was in touch with a number of players who plied their trade under Livadiotis as well as one who also played on the same courts as him.
Aris Koronides played with Lividiotis and was also under his tutelage in the 2017/18 season. The 39-year old played 13 years with the Cyprus National Team and is a friend of Israeli legend Meir Tapiro spoke warmly about the Beer Sheva move, “He is a fine person and likes to have good relationships with his players and enjoys talking to them as well. He is straight and honest and if someone is playing well he will continue with that person.”
“It’s hard to find someone like him that that loves basketball so much and can watch it all the time. He likes focussing on defense and makes point of that area of the game with pressing the ball and being tough. He holds morning and afternoon practices and likes to analyze a lot of video with plays from other players. He has some good ideas offensively but he isn’t a magician and will need time.”
Koronides continued talking about how he made his mark in previous seasons, “His biggest success that he had with Keravnos was when he came to the club and was able to change its DNA and made it into a defensively responsible team in order to reach its goals. In the past he had really focused on the offensive side of the game. He isn’t a coach that will switch around a lot of players and when he makes a decision to play a certain player even if he isn’t playing well, he will still go with him. While he is coming into this situation in the middle of a season, historically he doesn’t change players and likes to keep who he has already.”
“I want to wish him the best of luck. He is a hard worked and he always wants his teams to improve. the team will need to be good in practice in order to play well during the games.”
Willie Kemp who played with Keravnos during the 2018/19 season commented as to what Livadiotis brings to the table, “Coach Livadiotis is a great person and a players coach he loves his players. He a really good person on and off of the court. You are expected to see great basketball from him starting on the defensive end all of his teams have great defense that lead to good offense. Up tempo basketball that’s fun to watch you guys are getting one of the best coaches I had overseas.”
Terell Parks who played in Israel with Bnei Herzliya last season and joined forces with Livadiotis between 2016-18 also praised the hiring, “He is a great person who genuinely cares about people. He always want the best for everyone and loves the game of basketball as well as the game on both ends of the floor defensively and offensively. He is pushing to get the best out of each player to be the best that they can be.”
Jesse Hunt played under the new Beer Sheva boss last season had the following to say, “Coach is a great person. He welcomed me into the club with open arms and helped me advance my career. He is a terrific coach and an even better person and I’m excited to see how he does in Israel. You can expect strategic offense and defense. He will have great sets that will give his playmakers opportunities to create for themselves and others while providing good spacing. I truly wish him the best and will be following his time as coach there!”
Kenny Barker was with Keravnos in the 17/18 campaign, “Livas as a person is a funny guy. He plays serious but he jokes around a lot and he like to talk basketball at all times! The type of basketball you’ll expect to see is tough, smart and aggressive basketball. He is a student of the game and always looking for ways to improve his own systems and style of play but also learn from the talent of others. Hapoel has one of the best coaches I’ve ever played for!”
Anthony King played for Livadiotis for a number of seasons also commented on the hiring, “He is is a good person really driven to be a good coach. I can’t answer the type of basketball you will see because that depends on the personnel that’s there for him to work with.”
Livadiotis’s assistant coach at Keravnos Michael Matsentides shared his thoughts on the move and what he brings to the table, “He is a coach who respects his team, his teammates and his players and 100% professional and dedicated on his job. He is is constantly being trained and modernized and is a coach who likes defense and works a lot on this as his teams always play aggressive with very pressing defense.”
“Offensively he has many modern and nice ideas and I’m sure it will make the players love him and play for him too. I’m sure the team made a very good choice and we will understand that over time.”