As Qatar is fast becoming a hub for all kinds of sports, many professionals and trainers are showing interest to come here in hopes of engaging in different sporting activities.
Basketball is a sport that may not be seen as the most popular activity in some parts of the world but Qatar continues to support and promote basketball leagues and tournaments.
Serbia’s Miroslav Zlatkovic is a professional basketball coach and has been working with QSports, a major sport events company, as head of basketball programmes.
Community recently spoke with him about how he started coaching basketball players, his career so far and his assignments in Qatar at length.
Miroslav, better known as Miro, has been coaching basketball players in different countries for over 20 years. “I started playing basketball when I was only eight-year-old. One of my friends suggested that we needed to play and focus on one sport. He took me to a nearby basketball court and that was my first day at the court and since then I have not left the court.”
As far as playing the sport goes, Miro did not play much for the professional teams. “I played only for my home town Zajecar where I was born and brought up. I played in my hometown till I was 18-year-old. Even at that time, I started coaching young boys after I received training from my mentor coach. I loved the idea of coaching others for my favourite sport. That’s when I decided to make my career in coaching.
“After finishing my high school, I went to Belgrade, capital of Serbia. I got university degree in coaching basketball. The completion of the degree helped me coach two different teams that had earlier been national champions from former Yugoslavia. It gave me a lot of experience and confidence for my job. Some of my trained player went on to become a part of the national team of Serbia. One of my students even managed to be drafted for National Basketball Association (NBA), a men’s professional basketball league in North America. In Serbian capital, I used to coach boys ageing between 16 and 19 years.”
Miro has been building up on his international career as a basketball coach for last five years. “From Serbia, I moved to Romania five years ago. I became part of a second season basketball league. I had real fun there while coaching the enthusiastic players. Then, I moved to Turkey and found the country a huge fan of basketball. I moved up to the third season of the league there. I also became the head coach of professional players in Turkey.”
Miro moved to Qatar two years ago to join QSports. “I would love to mention Adil Ahmed, head of QSports. He contacted me and offered me a position after he learnt about my talents. I took no time in accepting the offer. I joined the company as the head of the basketball programme. I oversee the sport in an academy under the company. I am also an integral part of the company in organising different leagues and community tournaments. We also co-ordinate and collaborate with Qatar Basketball Association.”
Miro said he fell in love with basketball at first sight. He enjoys pursuing his career in a field that he likes the most. “From the day I entered basketball court some 30 years ago, I loved the sport. Since that day, I am in sports one way or another. As we love our parents without being able to explain the reason, I love basketball the same way. Being attached with the sport gives me a sense of satisfaction and a sense of relief that I have been able to follow my dream as a career. It has given me so much. I have been able to visit different countries and meet lots of interesting people. Basketball is a dynamic sport. It is exciting to train young people and see them enjoying the sport.”
Miro is all praise for Qatar’s passion for sports.
“Before joining QSports, I visited Qatar as a tourist and witnessed its sport scenes a few years ago. When I got the offer, I just leapt at it. I see how both the infrastructure and passion of all kinds of sports have grown in Qatar. Young people show a great interest in basketball and I am very glad to see young boys carrying balls and playing with enthusiasm.”
As far his future plans go, Miro is all set to cement his career with QSports. “We have been offering dynamic sporting opportunities to the people. In basketball, we offer different leagues and tournaments. We are planning to have some unique basketball events in Qatar in future. I intend to keep working hard with the company in Qatar and make my mark.”
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