Basketball-Blatt quits as Russia coach

MOSCOW Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:16pm EDT

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MOSCOW Oct 30 (Reuters) - David Blatt, an American-born Israeli, has quit as coach of the Russian men's basketball team after guiding them to the Olympic bronze medal in London, the country's basketball federation (RBF) said on Tuesday.

Blatt, 53, who holds dual U.S. and Israeli citizenship, has coached Russia for the past seven years, leading the team to the 2007 European title - the country's first major championship since 1985. He also helped them to the Eurobasket bronze medal last year.

"I am leaving Russia with mixed feelings," he was quoted as saying by the RBF website (www.basket.ru). "This team was a big part of my professional life but I feel that this is the right time to leave. I am doing it for personal reasons."

For the past few years, he has combined the Russia job with the head coaching duties at Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv. Blatt did not say if he would now coach Maccabi on a fulltime basis. (Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; Editing by John Mehaffey)

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