In addition to the FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel, FIBA Executive Director Europe Kamil Novak and the FIBA Europe Board members, the list of distinguished guests of the General Assembly in the Cypriot capital also included FIBA President Horacio Muratore, FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee member Patrick Baumann.
The President of the Cyprus Basketball Federation and host of the event Louis Demetriou welcomed the delegates, before a Cypriot government spokesperson, Prodromos Prodromou addressed the assembly on behalf of the President of the country Nikos Anastasiades and his government.
Both spoke about the important role of basketball in the development of a sporting culture in Cyprus and an understanding between the different nations.
In his speech FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel thanked the hosts for “an excellent organisation” and then reminded the delegates of yet another year that was “full of excitement but also some sad news” referring to the recent passing of former FIBA President Yvan Mainini. Mr Demirel paid tribute to Mr Mainini before inviting delegates to stand in a moment of silence.
The FIBA Europe President then spoke about the tremendous success of last year’s flagship events, FIBA EuroBasket and FIBA EuroBasket Women. The latter was held in Czech Republic, while the 2019 edition will take place in Latvia and Serbia.
Mr Demirel reminded delegates that the 2017 men’s EuroBasket which was organised in Finland, Israel, Romania and Turkey kept the same multi-country hosting format introduced – successfully- for the first time in 2014. The event will now be held every four years with the next edition coming up in 2021.
He also spoke about the success story of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers which started in November 2017, pointing out that the process for the new competition system and how to develop basketball further, was introduced already back in 2011.
Mr Demirel also praised the Basketball Champions League, already in its second season which culminated with a state-of-the-art Final Four in Athens, promising even more success in the club competitions landscape in the near future.
The FIBA Europe President presented details of the overall financial contribution by FIBA Europe to federations in the last four years, which is almost equal in number to the overall contribution in the previous 12 years.
He thanked all national federations for all their hard work during this last year and especially their record participation in all youth activities and grassroot initiatives, which form the basis of development of the sport.
He also mentioned the special opportunity presented by the inclusion of 3x3 as a discipline in the Olympic Games programme in Tokyo in 2020, especially thanking Mr Baumann for his help in achieving this.
Addressing the delegates FIBA President Horacio Muratore thanked the Cyprus government and they Cyprus Basketball Federation for their hospitality and spoke about recent developments in the basketball family.
Mr Muratore mentioned how pleased he was to see the great enthusiasm by which the new FIBA calendar and competition system was met by all stakeholders around the world and especially in Europe despite the many obstacles and complications put in its path by the actions of Euroleague Commecial Assets (ECA).
Mr Muratore reiterated that national team basketball has been, is and will remain the locomotive of development for the sport and the Qualifiers windows offer the perfect opportunity to that extent.
FIBA Executive Director Europe, Kamil Novak, the chair-people of the different commissions of FIBA Europe as well as Walter Pfaller, the President of the European zone of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF), all presented their annual reports to the delegates.
Mr Novak announced a decision by the Board of FIBA Europe to approve a one million Euro fund over two years, for a special Women’s Basketball Promotional Campaign, aimed at federations with projects that can help attract girls to the sport at a young age and due to start by the start of the next school year.
Ben Treadway of Wasserman Media Group presented a comprehensive, fan-based analysis of the first two FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers. He showed delegates the great, positive impact that the games in November and February had on fans across Europe for national team basketball – developing not only a new generation of players but a new generation of basketball supporters too.
The assembly concluded with a reminder that 2019 is an election year and therefore Munich, Germany will host the 2019 General Assembly and the elective assembly