By Amy Samin
On Friday, before the tipoff of the game against CSKA in Moscow, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv’s head coach David Blatt will be honored in a special ceremony in which he will be awarded the Russian Federation’s Order of Friendship.
The Order of Friendship is awarded by the government to Russian citizens and foreigners for outstanding achievements in the popularization of Russian culture and arts, promoting friendship and cooperation between peoples, and improving Russian society. The Order will be presented to Blatt by Sergei Ivanov, Vladimir Putin’s Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration, who is one of the most influential people in Russian government today.
It was made known last summer that Blatt would be receiving this honor and now, as he returns to Russia for the game, he will be awarded the Order in a special ceremony in Moscow. Blatt was the head coach of the Russian National Team from 2006 – 2012, leading them to many impressive achievements, chief among them the gold medal in the European Championship of 2007, the bronze medal in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and the bronze medal in the 2011 European Championship.