Dialogue through Sport: Israeli set to coach Palestinian basketball team

Ilan Kowalsky, who holds Polish passport, says ‘only sports and culture will bring peace’

Itamar Eichner

Veteran Israeli coach Ilan Kowalsky is expected to be named the new head coach of the Palestinian national basketball team, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Thursday.

Kowalsky, who coached the Palestinian team in the past without pay, has received an official offer to head the squad, according to the report.

The Palestinians were seeking a coach who can travel with the team to tournaments in Arab countries. Kowalsky, who holds a Polish passport, fits the bill in that respect.

Zayed Baransi, a businessman and an Israel Basketball Association official, brokered the deal. “I hope the first training camp will be held next week,” he said.

Kowalsky, for his part, said, “I was approached a few weeks ago and was asked whether I would be willing to coach the Palestinian national team. I said that if it won’t cause them any problems, why not?”Only sports and culture will bring peace to this region,” said the coach.

Source: Ynetnews