27 Jul 2004
In Slovenia the very popular and well-known basketball coach - Peter Brumen has a very spectacular and lively way to coach a basketball team. Many people come to games only to see Brumen coaching and not the play. But all the time he acts with a glimpse in his eyes.
At the 8th European Deaf Basketball Championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia where Slovenia team has won the championship. Deaf International Basketball Federation (DIBF) caught up with Peter Brumen (PB) for an interview:
DIBF: - Congratulations to the victory, Peter! This is the first title Slovenia won. How do you feel?
PB: - Thank you! I am so happy now… and exhausted. We all really worked hard for this title for a long time and the result was winning the Championship. We have been among the three best and in final several times before and now we won for the first time.
DIBF: - How has deaf basketball developed through the last 10 years?
PB: - When I started coaching almost all teams played zone-defence. Only Sweden could play real man-man defence and they were the leading country in Europe for many years. Now almost all teams can play man-man defence. The play has developed immensely only the last two to three years.
DIBF: - Is there any difference coaching a deaf team and a hearing team?
PB: - Actually no. The play of deaf players is originally the same way as a hearing player, there are the same tactics, the same playing problems to solve. The problem for me is the communication. My deaf players use sign-language and I do not stay in command of this language so therefore I have to use a sign-language interpreter when coaching. Some of the teams playing in this Championship had deaf coaches using there own native language and I could se they were working exactly the same way hearing coaches working with hearing teams. Of course the level of deaf basketball is not as high as for professional hearing basketball with their talents and heights but already there are several deaf players who have been playing and also now play for hearing teams.
DIBF: - Is it possible for a deaf player to reach for example NBA-level?
PB: - Of course! The players in NBA only have one head, two arms and two legs exactly the same as deaf people have. Is the deaf player talented enough and willing to work hard enough I do not see why he should not reach NBA-level. I can understand that there occasionally will be communication problems but such problems can always be solved.
DIBF: - Next tournament will be Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia in January 2005. What are the chances for Slovenia?
PB:- Our goal is to reach the final, and as we lost the final against USA at the Deaflympics in Rome 2001 with about 10 points, we have revenge. But the USA lost the final in World Championships 2002 against Greece so I think they are warned and alert. It will be a hard task to fulfil but I think we can beat any team in a Deaflympic final.
DIBF: Thank you Peter and we wish you success in next Deaflympics.
PB:- Thank you! We will work hard.