American basketball coach Rick Pitino is said to be close to signing a contract to coach the Greek national team as it attempts to qualify for the 12-team Olympic tournament.
The legendary coach is scheduled to fly to Athens, Greece Wednesday for meetings with the Hellenic Basketball Federation.
“We’re going to talk sometime on Friday and then, if all goes well, Monday we’ll have an announcement,” Pitino said Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s very exciting. It would be a hell of a thing to walk out in a (Opening Ceremonies) parade in Japan. That would be something really, really special if we could do it.”
Pitino led Panathinaikos to a Greek League championship last June after taking charge of the Athens-based team in mid-season. Citing family considerations –- a pregnant daughter, an ailing grandson -– he declined to return for a second season.
Out of the 24 nations which will compete for the four remaining Olympic qualifying spots from June 23-28, only Serbia is higher than Greece in the rankings.