By Christina Katsantoni

Dimitris Itoudis was born and raised in the village of Trikala in the county of Imathia. Son of a rural family, his father used to take him to the farmland but agriculture was never in his mind. He was attracted to sports and he fell in love with basketball. 

He tried his luck as a basketball player in local teams and then he went to Zagreb to study sports science with expertise in basketball. There, he took his first steps in coaching, initially at the academy of Mladost and later as a head coach of the under-18 team of KK Zagreb and assistant coach in the men’s team.

Upon his arrival in Greece he worked both as assistant coach and head coach in teams like PAOK, Panionios, MENT and Philippos Thessalonikis. In 1999 he faced his biggest career challenge when Željko Obradović signed him for Panathinaikos. 


Watch the Leaders Talk Here


With Panathinaikos he won, as an assistant coach, a total of 23 titles including 5 EuroLeague trophies and 11 Greek championships in 13 years, being part of the greatest era in the team’s history.

Later in his career, he coached Turkish side Banvit for one season and in June 2014 he finally took the plunge by managing historic CSKA Moscow as a head coach. He has won the EuroLeague twice and has been crowned 5 times as Russian champion.

Today he is CSKA’s record man of European victories in EuroLeague and the only Greek coach to have won the greatest European basketball title twice. Since June 2022 he is the official coach of Fenerbahce. 

In his Leaders Talk, Dimitris Itoudis, the Greek coach that holds a record of European titles, reveals the secrets of success that start from facing failures, managing sackings and the importance of “fall forward”. He talks about life-long relationships developed through basketball, the difficult decisions, the first advice he gives to his players and the professional challenge out of the comfort zone.