The UW-Stout Globe Trotter

THE UW-STOUT GLOBETROTTER

Basketball coach, former assistant will help Qatar qualify for the Olympics

UW-Stout men’s basketball coach Eddie Andrist ’76 could be living out the Olympic dream.

Andrist spent his spring break selecting the 16-member men’s national basketball team for the Arabian peninsula country of Qatar. This will be Andrist’s second foray into international basketball with Qatar; he also coached the Qatar Under-20 national team to the Asian Youth Championships in 2000.

Andrist, along with former Blue Devil assistant coach Eric Gardow, were scheduled to return to Qatar in May to begin training, and the team will travel to Slovenia, Egypt, Taiwan and China before heading to Japan for the Asian Games and the Olympic qualifier in late July.

“Asian basketball talent and focus is at an all-time high, and to win on this big of stage will be extremely difficult,” Andrist said. “There will be no margin for error so the health and fitness of our team will be critical. The team will have to learn my system quickly in order to have a chance.”

If the Qatar team wins the Asian Games – China is the favorite, with NBA superstar Yao Ming - they would qualify to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, with Andrist as head coach.

Andrist said he has a great deal of respect for the Qatar Basketball Federation and the Qatar Olympic Committee. “I am humbled by their long pursuit of bringing me back to the Middle East. I would love nothing better than to make them proud of their team and their country by qualifying for the Olympics,” he said.

In comparing American basketball to its Asian counterpart, Andrist said differences are most notable in the overall game fundamentals, where he gives the United States an edge, and in teamwork, where Asian teams tend to excel. “The U.S.A. game has become more individual, and everyone knows that a great team will most certainly beat a group of individuals,” he said.

Coach Andrist gets a ride after the Qatar team won the Asian Games.

 

Summer Outlook 2012