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Sebastian Gleim with special status at Merlins Crailsheim

WIf you want to establish yourself as a German basketball coach in the Bundesliga, you have to embark on a stony and possibly even impassable path. Currently only three of the 18 trainers have German citizenship, with John Patrick (Ludwigsburg) and Mladen Drijenicic (Oldenburg) only receiving their passports during their work in Germany. After Denis Wucherer’s dismissal on Monday in Würzburg, there is only one coach who has enjoyed his basketball training in this country.

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Wucherer fits perfectly into the drawer of the successful former player with a national team career who remains connected to his sport as a coach. But where does Sebastian Gleim, head coach of Hakro Merlins Crailsheim, who now has a special status among coaches, come from? The league’s youngest head coach at 37 years of age has gone his own way, has never lost sight of his dream and has increased his market value significantly since moving from the Frankfurt Skyliners to Crailsheim before this season.

Gleim’s career is not only atypical, but actually not even intended in German basketball. To put it simply: In the traditional basketball countries of South and Southeast Europe it is quite common for a young coach to earn his first spurs in the youth sector, then get his chance as an assistant coach in the professional scene with the appropriate perspective and ultimately make the leap to head coach at the highest level .

Few opportunities to present yourself

You can pursue this model as a career plan in Italy and Spain, for example, and achieve your goals with determination and performance. In Germany there is hardly any such permeability. Anyone who has ever been a youth coach usually gets stuck in the poorly paid coaching positions in the youth leagues. With a few exceptions, it’s extremely difficult to make a living as a basketball coach there. The lucky few who make the (first) leap as co-trainers to the professionals are usually condemned to video editing.

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