NEW YORK (Jul. 9)
West Germany’s basketball squad competing in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles later this month is coached by an Israeli, Ralph Klein, a veteran player and former coach of the Tel Aviv Maccabi team which he guided to several championships and into a number of European finals in recent years.
For the past two years, Klein has worked full time as coach of the Cologne team of the German National Basketball League. He is credited with raising the Cologne hoopsters to contender status and Germany’s hopes in the Olympic basketball competition repose largely on his shoulders.
The German team has replaced the Soviet quintet as one of the four hoop squads qualified to represent the European zone in Los Angeles — since the Soviet government decided to boycott the games.
Klein will continue to coach the Cologne team for one more season and then return to Israel. His wife is a vice president of a major business firm in Tel Aviv and it is her desire and that of the family to return. Klein will have no trouble connecting with one of the better basketball teams in Israel. His past performance leaves no question as to his merit, however the German players do at Los Angeles.