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Continued: No language barrier: At FIBA World Cup, speaking basketball leaves nothing lost in translation

  • Article by: BRIAN MAHONEY , Associated Press
  • Last update: September 3, 2014 - 2:20 AM

South Florida coach Orlando Antigua and two members of his staff are bilingual, as is most of the team. However, staff members Bill Bayno and Pat Zipfel only speak English, and players Juan Coronado and Victor Liz just Spanish.

So when Zipfel, a longtime NBA advance scout, goes over the opposition during meetings at the hotel, other team officials translate what he's writing on the board for Coronado and Liz.

"So if Zippy's talking, they're just whispering in their ear, 'this is what he's saying,' so it works pretty smoothly," said Bayno, an assistant with the Toronto Raptors.

They can do the same in the heat of a game, though things are more rushed.

"For those two, like if I have a teaching point, I'll tell one of the Spanish-speaking coaches, and I speak broken Spanish, so through the course of the three or four weeks we've been together I'll have the key words in Spanish that they understand," Bayno added. "But anything that's complex, I'll tell one of the Spanish-speaking coaches, or they'll just tell them themselves."

Spanish, Ukrainian, Portuguese, French, whatever the language, Fratello understands that it still all comes down to putting the ball in the basket, no matter where you're playing.

He traveled with the Hawks to the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and has been around international players for decades, so it's safe to assume TV's "Czar of the Telestrator" can handle a conversation. And even though Fratello and his point guard might learn some new lingo while they're in Spain, everything seems to come back to English.

"They try to teach me some Ukrainian words," Jeter said of his teammates, "but on the court we just speak English and understand."

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