ALBA Berlin appointed Israel Gonzalez as the new head of bench, replacing Aito Garcia Reneses who took a sabbatical, the club announced on Tuesday. Gonzalez, 46, has been with ALBA for the past four years as part of coach Garcia's staff. He was promoted to an associate head coach position in November, and now takes over the team from the German capital. Last season Gonzalez served as a head coach for five mid-season EuroLeague games and six domestic fixtures when coach Garcia was out due to COVID-19, and ALBA won seven of those clashes.
"With Israel as head coach, we are opening a new chapter at ALBA", said Himar Ojeda, ALBA sports director. "We have prepared for this step in the long term, starting with his role as assistant coach and then switching to associate head coach last fall. Israel has a great understanding of the game, he shares our basketball idea and our values in the club. We look forward to going into the future with him. Our big thanks go to Aito, with whom we have had great pleasure over the past few years and who has helped to decisively develop the club. A door will always be open to him at ALBA."
Gonzalez started his coaching career in 2004 as an assistant with Spanish second division club Cantabria Baloncesto, and became a head coach there in 2007. A year later he moved to Gran Canaria, where he worked for a year with U20 team, then spent eight years as an assistant coach before coming to Berlin. During the past four years with Gonzalez as part of the staff, ALBA reached 7DAYS EuroCup in 2019, won German League and Cup titles in 2020, and defended the German League crown earlier this year.