Predrag Lukic is a German/Serbian head coach who currently is coaching the Thang Long Warriors (Vietnam-VBA). He also has had experience coaching Chongson KungFu (China-ASEAN League) and BC Rise Sport Foshan (China, Guangdong province) in the far east. He got his coaching start in Germany and coached many teams there including Baskets Luedenscheid (Germany-2. Regionalliga), BG Hagen (Germany-Regionalliga), GiroLive-Ballers Osnabrueck (ProA), TSV Quakenbrueck Dragons (Germany-2.Bundesliga) women team, ChemCats Chemnitz (Germany-DBBL) women team, evo New Basket Oberhausen (Germany-DBBL) women team, MTV Wolfenbuettel von 2012 Herzoege (Germany-ProB), and Buergerfelder TB. He spoke to germanhoops.com about his coaching career.
Predrag thanks for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment, and how is basketball life for you at the moment? Tell us also more about you?
Thanks for this interview and opportunity to talk with one of the most respected basketball news. Well, I was born in 1986, grew up in Germany with Serbian roots. Since 2010 I completed my degree as basketball coach at DBB and have now also the FIBA License. I started young as a Basketball coach (21) and coached teams in the DBBL as well as Pro A, Pro B in Germany. Like you know, 2015 I made the step to Asia, first China where I ”started” with youth development work and proved myself to become again in pro coaching, like with Chongson KungFu BC in one of the top leagues (ASEAN League). In 2018 my work brought me to the beautiful country of Vietnam, where I am now in my fourth season as Head Coach, actually for Thang Long Warriors by AUDI. In the years here, honored as ”Coach of the Year 2019” and twice my team (s) was runners-up of the season and was most recently a finalist in past season 2020. The 2021 season is now being meticulously in preparation.
In the past we talked about your China experience, how about coaching in Vietnam now?
Vietnam is a beautiful country, my family and I enjoy it here. Basketball is coming more and more popular and the league (VBA) Vietnam Basketball Association is every year winning on quality. The organization and people behind as also the Team Owners are doing big investment, great work to develop basketball in Vietnam. Like for example my Owners who built in next years a like ”NBA”-basketball gym with such of Hotel, restaurants, practice court etc. This shows the potential and future here of basketball. I am glad that I am part of growing together here.
What is the biggest different between Vietnam/Asia and Europe Basketball?
At the moment there is a big difference between these two, not at least the way of teaching in youth sector and kind of maybe lack of basketball education and little too much following NBA for it, (To avoid misunderstanding, NBA is the best league in the world), but if you want to develop especially youth and get good skilled ballers, in my opinion you should follow more European/FIBA basketball training methods here as for example nobody (Europe either) is NBA or can offer this kind of huge”Athletes” etc. So it’s a different way. But ok, it’s just my opinion and view on it. On the other side Vietnam have a lot of players with potential, and I am sure Basketball will have a big future.
How do you see Thang Long Warriors by Audi doing next season? How much potential does the club have?
-TLW is one of the more successful teams and have the best Fan’s in the VBA. It owns a championship in the still young league that has existed for 5 years and TLW for four years now have reached the finals twice and never missed the playoffs yet. I can proudly say that I’ve been a coach for the longest time now here in the club and get the opportunity to continue and build the successful history of the Warriors. Hopefully the 2021 season we get something more and bigger done again.
I can see you are having good input as the Head coach there, and what is your biggest goal in your coaching?
I am glad to be the coach of this team and club. I will share my experience and help where ever it needs to become more and more successful.
You have been some years now in Asia (China & Vietnam). Do you ever see yourself returning to Germany/Europe, or could you see yourself staying for an extended time in Vietnam/Asia?
At the moment, like I said already my family and I are very happy in Vietnam (Asia). But of course, when the right time comes and or also good offers, will return to Germany/Europe surely, ”home sweet home”. But no rush at all.
What you have missed most from German/Europe basketball side and the culture?
For sure you always miss your family, friends, etc. most, and as I always say, ”Basketball is Basketball” all around the world.
One more question about the global COVID-19 pandemic, how is it in Vietnam and is the sport currently being influenced as it is in most of the world?
Fortunately, everything in Vietnam has been brought under control by the government as well as possible from the beginning of COVID-19. They do an amazing job, and we can feel very safe, probably one of the safest countries worldwide at the moment. So we can also keep enjoying the work as professionals in sport and play in front of visitors! I hope the whole world comes back to it soon.
Thanks coach for the nice interview and good luck for the new season.
Thanks to you, for the opportunity to talk about my experience and stories as well. Cheers!