RED CLAWS HEAD COACH MIKE TAYLOR
JOINS CZECH REPUBLIC TEAM STAFF

4th Season as Assistant Coach
for Czech National Team

PORTLAND, ME (July 29, 2013)– Red Claws Head Coach Mike Taylor hasn't had much of an “off” season. The second-year coach, who took a short break for a honeymoon early in July, has spent much of the summer with the Boston Celtics, including assisting the team with their Summer League team in Orlando.

“This summer has been fantastic,” Taylor said. “The chance to be around the Celtics draft preparation and then the NBA Summer League in Orlando was a great learning experience in the NBA style of play.”

Taylor’s next step will be to head to the Czech Republic where he will serve as the assistant coach for the Czech National Team. The Czech National Team is coached by Pavel Budinsky and will compete in the European Championship in Slovenia in September. The FIBA European Basketball Championship, also referred to as FIBA EuroBasket, is the main basketball competition between the national teams governed by FIBA Europe. Through 2017, it also alternates between serving as a qualifying tournament for the Summer Olympic Games and the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

“This will be my fourth summer coaching with the Czech Republic National team, and it is very exciting to be on the big stage of the European Championship,” Taylor said. “The European Championship in Slovenia will be a great chance to see a different style of basketball that I really love to see. I have really enjoyed working with the staff and players to get to this point, and we are all excited about Slovenia.” The Czech Republic, playing in Group C, will face an uphill battle in the competition that features perennial favorites from such countries as Spain, Croatia and host Slovenia. The Czech team, who had a strong showing during the 2012 Qualification Round, is led by a solid core of young players that includes the Washington Wizards’ Jan Vesely and will be looking to make their first return trip to the Final Round of EuroBasket since 2007.

“The European Championship is a matter of pride for the best basketball players in Europe,” said Taylor. “It’s a matter of national pride. Our team motto has been ‘Rvi Se Jako Lev’, which means fight like a lion. We will give everything we have at EuroBasket.”

For Taylor, who had an extensive overseas coaching resume before assuming the helm for the Red Claws last season, the opportunity to coach with the Czech National Team also serves to hone his own skills as a head coach.

“One of the things I love the most about coaching with the Czech Republic team is the chance to support my friend Pavel Budinsky, the head coach. Since we met in 2001, we have shared the same goal of bringing our ideas together for the best basketball possible. The last three summers have given us the chance to work hard at that, and I am thankful we have the chance to see those ideas play out on the floor in Europe.”

The EuroBasket tournament (www.eurobasket2013.org) will take place September 4-23 in Slovenia. Immediately following his return to Maine, Taylor will begin preparations for the 2013-14 season with the Maine Red Claws.

“I am looking forward to returning to Maine for my second season,” Taylor said. “We had a great season last year, making the team’s first-ever trip to the NBA D-League Playoffs. I’m looking forward to getting started on an even better season in 2013-14.”