Hawks hire Neven Spahija as assistant coach

The Atlanta Hawks have named Neven Spahija (NEV-in SPA-hee-ah) an assistant coach, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

“Neven is one of the most successful coaches in Europe and we’re thrilled to add him to our staff,” said Hawks Head Coach Mike Budenholzer. “As an organization, we have great respect for international basketball and we will benefit tremendously from his perspective and his wealth of experience.”

Spahija, a Croatia native and former Croatian Coach of the Year with nearly 30 years international coaching experience, was most recently head coach of Cibona Zagreb (Croatia) last season. From 2010-12, Spahija led Fenerbahce Ulker (Turkey), winning a Turkish Basketball League and Turkish Cup championship in 2010-11 after directing the club to a 27-3 regular season mark.

Spahija had previously guided Cibona from 2000-01, additionally serving as head coach for four other Euroleague teams since that time – Krka Novo Mesto (Slovenia), Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania), Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) and Tau Ceramica (Spain).

He has won domestic league titles in six countries – Slovenia, Croatia, Lithuania, Spain, Israel and Turkey. Spahija has also been a head coach in Russia (Avtodor Saratov), Italy (Roseto) and Croatia (Gradine Pula). He won the 2009-10 Eurocup with Valencia (Spain), reached the finals of the 2003 ULEB Cup with Krka and the 2008 Euroleague Final Four with Tau Ceramica.

Spahija has also spent time as head coach of the Croatian National team (2001-05) and the Under-22 National Team (2001).