Rajko Toroman: Breaking new grounds

PHOTO COURTESY: GOOGLE.COM & IMG17.IMAGESHACK.US

Photo Courtesy: Img17.imageshack.us

For almost a year now, Rajko Toroman has been a fixture in the Philippine basketball scene.  When his contract with the Iran’s national basketball team expired right after the 2008 Olympics, SBP Executive Director Noli Eala didn’t think twice to get the services of the coach that steered Iran to its first Olympic appearance since 1948.  At first, to get a feel of what Philippine basketball is all about, Eala invited Toroman to watch a collegiate match featuring Ateneo and La Salle.  So amazed with the popularity of the sport, Rajko Toroman saw the potential of Filipinos excel in the global level.  He then accepted the job as Program  Director of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and coach of the Smart Gilas developmental pool in late 2008. It was where it all began.

Rajko Toroman has been credited for turning the marbles for Iran’s national basketball team.  Iran won the title in 2007 FIBA-Asia championship that earned them the ticket for the 2008 Olympics. He was also recognized for molding the likes of Hamed Ehadadi, Samad Nikkhah Bahrami and Mehdi Kamrani to become top level players with Ehadadi going all the way to play for Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA.

A Serbian national, Toroman was born on February 10, 1955. He used to be an assistant coach of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1996.  From then on until 2006, Toroman was a journeyman as a coach of different pro ball clubs across Europe. It was in 2007 when he was back in the international arena leading the Islamic republic to the Olympics after 60 years.  Now, he’s in the ‘pearl of the orient’ breaking new grounds in its quest for the 2011 FIBA-Asia crown.

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