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Author Topic: § FIBA World Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto Mundial FIBA & Comentarios Libres  (Read 471984 times)
ESB Mario Sebastiani
eBA Stats Team
Hero Member
Posts: 1294

« Reply #36 on: Feb 07, 2015, 01:03:09 AM »

FIBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto FIBA & Comentarios Libres

Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

Bright stars of international basketball
headline FIBA Players' Commission

Some of the biggest names in international basketball have been brought together to make up FIBA's Players' Commission for the current term of office (2014-2019).

The commission, whose responsibility it is to represent all players - men, women and youth across all types of basketball - is chaired by Former Yugoslavia and Serbia star Vlade Divac and consists of 14 members.

Last September, Divac became the first-ever players representative and as such serves on the 26-member FIBA Central Board.

Thirteen of the members of FIBA's Players' Commission have been named, with a representative to be appointed by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) still to follow.

Divac, Vlade (SRB)

Alapag, Jim (PHI)
Dos Santos, Adriana Aparecida (BRA)
Egnell, Elisabeth (SWE)
Korstin, Ilona (RUS)
Mottola, Hanno (FIN)
Ndong, Boniface (SEN)
Nesterovic, Radoslav (SLO)
Oberto, Fabricio (ARG)
Oyedeji, Olumide (NIG)
Screen, Jenni (AUS)
Smith, Katie (USA)
Valdemoro Madariaga, Amaya (ESP)
Van Den Spiegel, Tomas (BEL)
IWBF representative - TBD

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Here is more information about the personalities who make up FIBA's Players Commission and their major accomplishments during their playing careers:

Vlade Divac became the first-ever players representative and as such serves on the 26-member FIBA Central Board. In this Photograph from FIBA presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis . Photograph: FIBA

- Vlade Divac had a long and distinguished career which saw him play both in Europe and the NBA. He won two FIBA Basketball World Cups (1990, 2002) and three EuroBaskets (1989, 1991, 1995). He was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2010.

- Jimmy Alapag, a born-to-thrill guard who spent more than a decade playing professionally in the Philippines, also wore the Gilas shirt at FIBA Asia Championships and at last year's FIBA Basketball World Cup.

- Adriana Aparecida Dos Santos represented Brazil at major events, beginning at the 1992 FIBA Olympics and ending at the 2002 FIBA World Championship for Women. She celebrated a title triumph at the 1994 FIBA World Championship for Women, and a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics.

- Elisabeth Egnell has played in Sweden and also represented the country in international competition, helping the Scandinavian side reach the Quarter-Finals of the EuroBasket Women 2013. That followed on from Egnell being honored as the MVP of the Swedish top flight for the 2012-13 campaign.

- Ilona Korstin was a vital part of Russia squads that captured European titles in 2001, 2007 and 2011, and she was also in the side that upset the United States in the Semi-Finals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women.

- Hanno Mottola, Finland's most famous-ever player, followed up a successful college spell at Utah with a stint in the NBA before having a long career in Europe and also playing for the national team.

- Boniface Ndong will always be remembered for his heroics at AfroBasket 2005 when he led Senegal to the Final and was named as the tournament MVP.

- Radoslav Nesterovic, who competed in both Europe and the NBA during a long career, also captained a Slovenia national team that has grown into a force.

- Fabricio Oberto, a member of Argentina's 'Golden Generation', helped his country reach the Final of the 2002 FIBA Basketball World Cup and win the 2004 Olympics. He played professionally in Argentina, Europe and the NBA.

- Olumide Oyedeji competed for Nigeria's national team and helped them reach the Olympics for the first time in 2012.

- Jennifer Screen was in the Australian Opals sides that claimed the title at the 2006 FIBA World Championship for Women, and reached the podium at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.

- Katie Smith was a three-time Olympic champion with the United States, a guard who had a terrific career in the WNBA.

- Amaya Valdemoro capped a long and prestigious career with Spain that began in 1995 at the EuroBasket Women with a title-winning performance at the EuroBasket Women 2013. The EuroBasket Women 2007 MVP, Valdemoro played at two Olympics and four FIBA World Championships for Women.

- Tomas Van Den Spiegel, in addition to representing Belgium in international basketball, grew to prominence as a member of the CSKA Moscow teams that won Euroleague titles in 2006 and 2008.  

The chairmen and deputy chairmen of FIBA's commissions will meet at the end of February at which time they will decide the dates for these bodies to convene in the coming months.


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HBC Brian Denver
eBA Stats Team
Hero Member
Posts: 1349

« Reply #35 on: Jan 31, 2015, 01:17:11 AM »

FIBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto FIBA & Comentarios Libres

Weekend eBA Basketball Magazine:

Working Group on National Federations Support
and Development convenes for first time

FIBA's Working Group dedicated to supporting and developing its 214 member national federations met for the very first time on Friday-Saturday 23-24 January.

FIBA's main objectives for the 2014-2019 term of office are to build one united world basketball family and prioritise the development of all its members.

A first step was taken with the convening of the Working Group on National Federations Support and Development at the House of Basketball.

In line with the changes made to its governance at last year's Extraordinary World Congress, the world governing body of basketball is fully intent on giving all its national federations the support and help needed to reach the full extent of their respective growth potential.

FIBA President Horacio Muratore said: "Now that we have created ONE FIBA, the moment has arrived to focus on our national federations.

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This is their moment. These changes are needed, and it is something that we have committed ourselves to.

James P Naismith, grandson of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, recently paid a visit to the headquarters of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in Mies (Switzerland). During his visit to the ‘House of Basketball’, he answered some questions on subjects such as his famous grandfather, the recent Basketball World Cup in Spain, and the growth of basketball.
In this Photograph from FIBA presented by eBA Stats Basketball Statistics Analysis . Photograph: FIBA

"Thanks to the new governance, we will have direct links between FIBA and the national federations.

"Our member national federations will be happy to know that we have started to work and that FIBA will provide all necessary resources (material, financial and human) to achieve what we have set out as our goals."

The Working Group on National Federations Support and Development is divided in two and operates along the following guidelines:

- Mr Muratore presides over Group A, which focuses exclusively on the national federations which are looking to participate in the qualifying campaign for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

- International Basketball Foundation (IBF) President Yvan Mainini heads Group B, which sets out to assist national federations that need help in building from the ground up.

With the new system and calendar of competition coming into effect in 2017 to qualify 32 teams for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, FIBA has made it a priority to ensure that:  

as many national federations as possible are ready to compete at the highest level and field teams in the qualification process for its flagship event.


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Sr. Member
Posts: 501

« Reply #34 on: Oct 21, 2012, 02:49:11 AM »

FIBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto FIBA & Comentarios Libres

FIBA appoints DSI by Inverleigh to distribute
official weekly television series ‘FIBA World Basketball’

FIBA (International Basketball Federation) and Inverleigh Media Holdings (International Sports Media Company) today announced a new long-term partnership whereby Inverleigh will become the exclusive producer and international distributor of the official weekly television series ‘FIBA World Basketball’ starting in January 2013.

DSI by Inverleigh, the dedicated distribution arm of Inverleigh, will be responsible for the exclusive worldwide marketing of the series and is holding discussions with potential broadcast partners at MIPCOM and Sportel industry markets in the lead-up to the commencement of the partnership in January.

FIBA World Basketball, the half-hour weekly programme originally launched in 2006, promotes international basketball and provides fans with highlights and feature stories from basketball played at the top level around the world, including FIBA World and Continental Championships as well as key continental and national leagues and footage from the FIBA archive.

“It is with great pleasure that we announce our partnership with DSI by Inverleigh and look forward to working together with them,” said FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Patrick Baumann.

“The FIBA World Basketball programme is a very important tool in our mission to continuously keep growing the sport globally.

“We are confident that through this new partnership, the series can catch the attention of more and more fans worldwide.”

The appointment marks a return to familiar territory for Inverleigh Directors Matt Whytcross and Peter Wraith, who were directly involved in the original development and launch of the series.

“We are delighted to partner FIBA in a programme so highly-regarded by both broadcasters and audiences,” said Whytcross.

“This partnership is an important strategic step for Inverleigh and we are excited by the prospect of delivering an outstanding programme for basketball fans worldwide.”

For more information about FIBA World Basketball, please visit or contact DSI by Inverleigh (exclusive distributor of the series) via the details provided below.

For further information:
DSI by Inverleigh
Contact: Mr Matt Whytcross
+44 777 6000 406


About FIBA
FIBA ( – the world governing body for basketball – is an independent association formed by 213 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognised as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

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Green Ball
Full Member
Posts: 401

« Reply #33 on: Aug 21, 2012, 12:54:53 AM »

FIBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto FIBA & Comentarios Libres

FIBA - Russia, Turkey, GB, France, Brasil & Canada
climb FIBA Rankings following Olympics

The London Olympic Basketball Tournament has had a significant impact on the FIBA Rankings for Men and Women with a number of teams making big leaps towards the top.

While the men's top five - USA, Spain, Argentina, Greece and Lithuania - remains unchanged, Russia have moved up five places from 11th to sixth following their bronze medal run in London.

Beaten quarter-finalists France, who fell to eventual finalists Spain, and Brazil, who lost to neighbours Argentina, moved up four places each to stand eighth and ninth respectively.

The African teams also moved up some places, with Nigeria up to 17th from 21st, while Tunisia jumped 10 spots, moving from 32nd to 22nd.

Olympic hosts Great Britain made the biggest leap of all, going from 43rd to 23rd, a 20-place improvement.

Ranking Men after the 2012 London Olympics

Rank      Points  +/- Rank*
01. USA   952.0   
02. ESP   870.0   
03. ARG   498.0   
04. GRE   418.0   
05. LTU   406.0   
06. RUS   363.0 +5
07. TUR   302.0 -1
08. FRA   260.0 +4
09. BRA   254.0 +4
10. AUS   234.0 -1
11. CHN   199.7 -1
12. SRB   192.0 -4
13. GER   182.0 +1
14. SLO   157.0 +3
15. ANG   143.0   
16. CRO   134.0 +3
17. NGR   112.6 +4
18. NZL   102.0   
19. PUR   92.6    -3
20. IRI   83.1   
21. ITA   72.0   -14
22. TUN   65.8   +10
23. GBR   62.0   +20
24. VEN   49.0   -2
25. LIB   47.4   -2
26. CAN   46.6   -2
27. DOM   45.6   -2
28. PAN   41.8   -2
29. URU   39.2   -2
30. JOR   33.8   -2
31. ISR   30.0   -2
32. MEX   26.4   -2
33. KOR   26.1   -2
34. MKD   25.0   -1
35. JPN   23.8   -1
36. QAT   22.4   -1
37. SEN   20.2   -1
38. CIV   20.0   -1
39. LAT   19.0   -1
40. BUL   18.0   -1
40. POL   18.0   -1
42. TPE   14.4   -1
43. CMR   13.4   -1
44. POR   11.0   
45. PHI   10.8   
46. CAF   10.4   
47. KAZ   10.2   
48. FIN   10.0   
49. MLI   8.2   
50. CUB   8.0   
50. MAR   8.0   
50. UKR   8.0   
50. GEO   8.0   
50. BIH   8.0   
55. PAR   7.2   
55. ISV   7.2   
55. CPV   7.2   
58. IND   6.6   
58. INA   6.6   
60. EGY   6.4   
61. UZB   6.0   
61. CZE   6.0   
63. KUW   5.7   
63. UAE   5.7   
65. MOZ   5.4   
65. SYR   5.4   
67. RWA   4.8   
68. RSA   4.4   
69. MAS   3.3   
69. KSA   3.3   
71. ALG   3.0   
71. HKG   3.0   
73. GAB   2.0   
74. LBA   1.6   
75. BRN   1.2   
75. MAD   1.2   
77. BEL   1.0   
77. MNE   1.0   
79. SRI   0.9   
80. CHA   0.8   
80. COD   0.8   
82. CGO   0.6   
82. LBR   0.6   
82. TOG   0.6   
* The number next to the current points indicates the number of positions the respective country has moved since the previous ranking.

The countries not listed above have all 0 points and are therefore all positioned, with the same rank, after the last country mentioned.

Meanwhile, for the women, the USA cemented their place as number one in the world with a fifth consecutive Olympic gold medal.

For the first time since 1996, Australia failed to reach the Olympic Final, but their bronze medal finish enabled them to stay second in the ranking.

The Opals shared the position with Russia but beat them for the third and final place on the podium in London and the Russians dropped down to third in the world as a result.

France, fresh off of their first-ever Olympic Final appearance, gained three places to climb up to fifth while Canada moved from just outside the top 10 to just inside it (11th to 9th).

A number of Olympic debutants also did well for themselves. Turkey, who won four of their six games and came agonizingly close to reaching the Semi-Finals, moved up to 13th, an eight-place improvement.

Croatia's women registered their first-ever win in the competition and improved from 31st to 21st.

Angola didn't manage a win in the Olympic Basketball Tournament, however their efforts were well rewarded as they improved from 27th in the world to 23rd.

Great Britain's women had the biggest leap of all, going from 49th to 24th.

Ranking Women after the 2012 London Olympics

Rank       Points   +/- Rank*
01. USA   940.0   
02. AUS   690.0   
03. RUS   665.0 -1
04. CZE   468.0   
05. FRA   440.0 +3
06. ESP   385.0 -1
07. BRA   351.0 -1
08. CHN   262.0 -1
09. CAN   218.2 +2
10. BLR   195.0   
11. KOR   191.0 -2
12. ARG   163.0   
13. TUR   141.0 +8
14. CUB   136.0 -1
15. LTU   112.0 +2
16. LAT   101.0 +2
17. MLI   81.8   +2
18. JPN   76.5   -3
19. GRE   75.0   -5
20. SEN   69.0   +2
21. CRO   65.0   +10
22. NZL   61.0   -6
23. ANG   59.6   +4
24. GBR   48.0   +25
25. TPE   47.5   -2
26. NGR   33.6   -6
26. PUR   33.6   -2
28. CHI   28.0   -3
28. POL   28.0   -3
30. ITA   23.0   -2
31. GER   22.0   -2
32. SRB   21.0   -2
33. MEX   20.0   -2
34. DOM   19.2   -1
35. ISR   18.0   -1
36. JAM   17.6   -1
37. SVK   17.0   -1
38. MAS   14.4   -1
38. MOZ   14.4   -1
40. IND   14.1   -1
41. ROU   13.0   -1
41. MNE   13.0   -1
43. THA   12.6   -1
44. BEL   12.0   -1
45. KAZ   9.9   -1
46. COL   9.6   -1
46. VEN   9.6   -1
48. SRI   8.1   -1
48. UZB   8.1   -1
50. PAR   8.0   -1
51. COD   7.8   
52. CMR   7.6   
53. LIB   7.5   
54. CIV   7.4   
55. SIN   6.9   
56. HKG   6.3   
57. TUN   5.2   
58. PHI   5.1   
59. HUN   5.0   
60. CPV   4.4   
61. MAD   4.0   
61. RWA   4.0   
61. UKR   4.0   
64. PRK   3.9   
65. FIJ   3.0   
65. INA   3.0   
67. VIE   2.7   
68. NIG   2.2   
69. GAB   2.0   
70. TOG   1.8   
71. GUI   1.6   
71. RSA   1.6   
73. GHA   1.4   
73. KEN   1.4   
73. MRI   1.4   
* The number next to the current poits indicates the number of positions the respective country has moved since the previous ranking.

The countries not listed above have all 0 points and are therefore all positioned, with the same rank, after the last country mentioned.


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The Zafire Team
Jr. Member
Posts: 298

« Reply #32 on: Aug 20, 2012, 02:06:44 AM »

FIBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto FIBA & Comentarios Libres

FIBA - Baumann calls for 16 teams at Rio 2016

The London 2012 Olympic Basketball Tournament captivated the attention of billions worldwide. The tournament reached its climax last Sunday with the exciting and close Men’s Final between the reigning Olympic and FIBA World Champions United States and two-time European champions Spain.

In a wide-ranging interview, FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann talked about the future of the Olympics, the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the NBA.

FIBA: The Olympic Basketball Tournament has come to a close. What are your thoughts on what you saw on the court?
Baumann: I think it's been a good tournament both for the men and the women. Certainly the technical level in the men's tournament is even better than in Beijing. I think that's visible for everyone. There have been great games and it wasn't clear who next to the USA would go to the Final.

No one could have guessed for sure it would be the remake of the Final in Beijing nor that the Final would again be so competitive. We have to give credit to both the USA and Spain who delivered a great battle on the court, but also to Russia and Argentina who battled until the last seconds to decide the Bronze Medal Game.

Another highlight of course was Australia’s young Liz Cambage getting the first dunk ever in the women’s tournament. She will be a talent that we will see for many more events to come. And the tremendous progress shown by Turkey’s women's team presents us with promising prospects for the 2014 World Championship for Women to be held in their country.

Finally, I believe that we have to praise the efforts of the GB teams, both men and women. FIBA’s decision to integrate them automatically into the Games was well deserved and I hope they will keep up with the work for the next quadrennium.

FIBA: Are there any areas where you would like to see some improvement?
Baumann: Yes, we need to be constantly attentive that basketball does not become a fight for the second place both in the men and women’s tournaments. The USA can be very proud of their achievements on the court. Big-name stars have played as a team and are proud to represent their country. But they are fortunate to have a very strong system in the US that provides them with almost unlimited talents. This is not the case elsewhere.

FIBA needs to encourage more competitiveness and more depth in countries being able to reach the podium. The presence of the French women's team on it in London is a good signal, as is the medal won by the Russian men’s team. The presence of two African teams in the tournament, although their levels are still too far from the top, was also important, whilst the failure of the Chinese men’s team is very alarming from an Asian perspective.

From a rules perspective, tanking and flopping always remain issues we need to monitor and improve, but I am extremely happy about the strong officiating we had in London, with referees from all continents participating efficiently at each level of the tournament. The three-point line has been extended only recently but there is already a debate whether we should not have immediately moved to the NBA three-point distance.

Finally, we regularly discuss the fact that having 12 teams is not ideal for a team sport. Two groups of six teams, five games in the Preliminary Round – it makes the tournament very long. We support the principle of universality at the Olympics, but the consequence is that we don't necessarily have the best teams competing. We've requested twice to have 16 teams. The IOC has rejected this both times for quota reasons, which is frustrating from our perspective. More countries want to qualify, but it is extremely difficult.

FIBA: Can you talk about trying to find the right balance between the Olympics and the FIBA Basketball World Cup?
Baumann: There are heated discussions about which is the prime event between the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Olympic Basketball Tournament. It's not about comparing the two. They have different values and we benefit from both. Certainly in terms of the sport aspect, the FIBA Basketball World Cup is more intense because the best teams are really there. But the Olympics represent something much bigger with its values and the fact that winning an Olympic medal is probably the dream of a lifetime for every athlete. We can’t refuse that.

On the other hand, we need to find a way to raise the profile of the World Cup to another level as basketball has grown very strongly worldwide since the 1992 Olympics with the help of the NBA and other leagues along with the hard work of FIBA’s National Federations. Now basketball is extremely global. So we're looking at 'how do we deal with the next 20 years?' This discussion started at our last Congress in 2010 in Turkey.

Within that context, getting 16 teams at the Olympics or having U23 players – as suggested by David Stern – it's all part of the general discussion we're having within the basketball family (and therefore also with the NBA). These ideas are on the table to reflect what is best for basketball in the next 20 years. There may be different opinions between the stakeholders, but we're not afraid to put ideas on the table.

FIBA: How can you make the FIBA Basketball World Cup stand out and get the audience it deserves?
Baumann: We are absolutely convinced that basketball can grow even more and we know for a fact that the FIBA Basketball World Cup has untapped potential for growth. So, to start with, this is why we propose to play our flagship event in 2019 instead of 2018 to move it out of the FIFA World Cup year. At the same time, it becomes the main qualifier for the Olympic Games in 2020.

Finally, it should no longer be about a two-week event, but about a two-year story of qualifications played all over the world, with a climax during the final two weeks.

FIBA: The NBA raised concerns for its players who play at the Olympics. What are your thoughts on this?
Baumann: The NBA has a general concern, as do all clubs and leagues, about the use of athletes during the summer. Every summer, players are asked to play for their national teams. Certainly from an NBA perspective, there's the wear and tear factor - 19 days of being in London, plus the's pretty long, having started just shortly after the end of the NBA season.

So there's an issue about length. One way to tackle that is by not bringing the older players. That's why the Commissioner (David Stern) has come up with “why not go with U23”, while at the same time promoting younger athletes and also making a difference between the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the Olympic Games. From a FIBA perspective, it’s an interesting approach and we understand the point of view of the NBA and USA Basketball. We know their concerns.

From a global perspective, the progress of the talent in all other countries doesn't go at the same speed or the same pace as the USA. They don't all have a school system like the USA. So the ability for the rest of the world to produce a lot of talent is not the same as the USA. As a result of that, lowering the age to U23 at the Olympics could actually widen the divide between the USA and the rest of the world.

There is also a more general issue of what the Olympic Games represent. The NBA, the IOC and FIBA, we have all earned a lot - not just in financial terms - from professional athletes being at the Olympics since 1992. This is the case with regards to the way basketball has grown, from where we were then to where we are now.

So it would be premature to make changes in the quality of basketball at the Olympics, especially before having maximised the potential of the World Cup. So it's too early to make any changes in the Olympic programme.

To give you a concrete example, I don't think we would have had the investment in basketball in Britain - which is not a basketball country - had it not been for the Olympics. Also, without the Olympics, the amazing work done by Nigeria with its men’s team would have gone unnoticed. The same applies to the popularity of basketball in China.

But there clearly is a need for an overhaul of the FIBA competition structure to keep the NBA players participating internationally for their national teams. The Commissioner has been very clear to us on this and we will have to make difficult but important choices for the future before the end of this year.

Right now, for us (FIBA) it’s still about trying to find a way to serve everybody's purpose in the best way possible. So we will recommend changes and there will be discussions between us and the IOC and between us and the NBA and our basketball family as we are already having.

FIBA: Will you be making proposals for change to the Olympic Basketball Tournament and programme for 2016?
Baumann: We will certainly submit two proposals. The first is we want to move from 12 to 16 teams. As a consequence of that we would be able to promote the game in four more countries and reduce the length of the competition.

The second proposal would be to introduce 3x3 in the Olympics following its successful introduction at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore and the start of our first full 3x3 season this year.

FIBA: How do you justify having both basketball and 3x3 in the Olympics?
Baumann: Well, volleyball has beach volleyball, swimming has synchronised swimming and diving, athletics has A athletes and B athletes, etc. We want 3x3 to be a part of the Olympics. It is an integral part in FIBA’s efforts to grow the pyramid of basketball. At the top, we need to manage the elite and make the changes I have referred to. At the bottom, we need to spread the basketball virus.

We are the number one indoors sport, but we have ambitions also outdoors and beyond the core basketball players. 3x3 helps our base to grow, our sport to become more popular and basketball to be a rejuvenating and innovative driver for change.

FIBA: Can you talk about how crucial it is for FIBA and the NBA to work hand in hand to grow basketball?
Baumann: The NBA and FIBA absolutely need to keep working together. There is no other solution for basketball to grow from where it is now to where it can go next. I'm sure the IOC wants the NBA’s best athletes to keep on playing in the Olympics, we want that too as well as, of course, at the World Cup. And we’ve heard that the players want to come to the Olympics.

Also, the NBA wants to continue to progress globally, to benefit from basketball’s popularity and growth. We need to find the right way to define the structure of our competitions in general - it's about the World Cup, how you qualify for it, how many games the players have to play in the four-year cycle. It's not just about the two weeks of the Olympics. So it's a whole package that we've been working on for a year now. Within that package, the Olympic Games are an important piece.

As I said, we will make some tough decisions at the end of the year about how we strengthen the World Cup, how new countries can climb the ranking and how we ensure the NBA stays within the FIBA basketball family so that have 20 more years of growth coming up at the same speed if not better, because we feel we can do better.


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« Reply #31 on: Jul 22, 2012, 06:46:22 PM »

FIBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto FIBA & Comentarios Libres

Nigeria crash Olympic party

The madness in basketball is normally reserved for the month of March, when the NCAA Tournament is played in the United States.
There are Davids and Goliaths and upsets galore.
This month's FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) in Caracas proved to be just as crazy.
John Calipari, just a few months removed from leading the Kentucky Wildcats to the NCAA title, would probably agree.
Coach Cal guided the Dominican Republic at the OQT in Caracas and came up one win short of a spot in the London Games.
After his team's 95-85 victory over Korea on 3 July, a game in which Korea's frenetic and disruptive perimeter play caused many a difficult moment for the Dominicans, I said to Calipari: "Nothing comes easy in international basketball."
He smiled and answered: "What am I doing here?"
Calipari was in Caracas to try and lead the Dominican Republic to London.
A loss on the last night to Nigeria, 88-73, put paid to the Dominican hopes.
Nigeria, instead, joined Russia and Lithuania at the London Games.
You had to be in the Poliedro Arena to believe what happened over several days of great tournament basketball.
It's fitting to have the Nigerians' dancing on the court as the enduring image of the OQT.
A local church with a Nigerian pastor brought his entire flock to the Poliedro for all of Nigeria's games, and they turned the place into a little Lagos with their drums, their dancing and their singing.
The Dominican fans also had cowbells and drums, while those familiar with the great national teams of Lithuania and Greece will also know that their travelling fans are devoted, loud and very committed to the banging of drums, too.
In Venezuela, there was a little bit of something to interest everyone.
There was a lot of salsa going on in the stands during their two games.
On the court, Venezuela's Greivis Vasquez was a one-man attraction.
While he takes a lot of shots and draws a lot of attention to himself, he is not a selfish player at all.
His play in Caracas begs the question, "Why, in the name of Elvis, did Memphis trade Greivis Vasquez to the New Orleans Hornets?"
Vasquez is trying to take Venezuelan basketball to the top in South America, and he's doing a good job.
The dynamic, flamboyant one, he who thrilled in the open floor and rained three-pointers on Nigeria and Lithuania, wasn't able to carry Venezuela into the Quarter-Finals, but as he aptly put it before the start of the OQT, Venezuelan basketball has grown more in the past year than it had in the previous 20.
Vasquez had a front seat for one of the most controversial decisions of the OQT.
Lithuania coach Kestutis Kemzura, with his team on top of Venezuela by 18 with just four seconds remaining, decided to call a timeout and draw up a play to get more points.
The intention was to improve the team's goal (or points) differential in case of a three-way tie, to make sure that Lithuania would advance to the Quarter-Finals.
Vasquez, Venezuela coach Eric Musselman and all of Venezuela felt Kemzura was trying to pile on the misery.
If Kemzura had any Venezuelan friends left after that victory, he sure didn't by the end of Lithuania's game the following night against Nigeria.
The Africans led Lithuania by six points and Kemzura, secure in the knowledge that Lithuania could see out the last 30 seconds and finish first in Group B with the 86-80 defeat, decided not to try and win the game and that sealed the fate of Venezuela.
With all three teams winning one of two games, Kemzura and Co came in first, Nigeria second and hosts Venezuela third.
Venezuela crashed out of the tournament.
Before their Quarter-Final clash two nights later against Puerto Rico, the Venezuelans booed Lithuania non-stop while the Baltic team's national anthem was played.
Kemzura and Lithuania understand the cold, hard truth about international basketball, that in group play, points differential is often called into play to snap three-way ties.
The Lithuanians made no apologies about the timeout.
For the neutral observer, though, Kemzura's timeout lacked decency and perhaps common sense.
The Venezuela fire was raging with their team on the end of a heavy defeat.
Calling timeout with four seconds to go was like pouring gasoline on the blaze.
Musselman was so incensed that he refused to hold a joint press conference with Kemzura.
The saddest event of all at the OQT came in the aftermath of the Greeks' 80-79 defeat to Nigeria in the Quarter-Finals.
Greece were stunned and disappointed.
Of course they were. Their bid to play at a third straight Olympics had disappeared.
Greece coach Elias Zouros could have taken the high road and congratulated the Africans.
He could have pointed out that Nigeria hit a series of clutch shots in the fourth quarter, or recognized that the national team had given an entire continent its greatest moment in international basketball history.
He could have mentioned the name Ade Dagunduro, the architect of his team's demise, and maybe wished Nigeria luck in its remaining games.
Instead, the coach who's heard nothing but praise for most of his career, a former Eurocup Coach of the Year, railed against the referees and said his players had been robbed.
It was uncomfortable listening to a man in his position be so ungracious in defeat.
Zouros wasn't the first coach to adopt a negative tone in a press conference, and he won't be the last.
My only advice to him is to spend some extra time in practice coaching the art of free-throw shooting because Greece's 17-of-28 showing at the line was horrendous and costly.
Maybe Zouros can volunteer and do a coaching clinic in Nigeria at some point in his career.
Maybe then he'd appreciate the challenges that that country faces to be successful in sports.
The other point worth raising is the sniping from those who say Nigeria's players are all Americans.
Nigeria have players of Nigerian extraction who grew up in the United States, just as Greece have Nick Calathes, Kostas Koufos, Michail Bramos, etc.
The best Nigerian of all, Hakeem Olajuwon, played for the United States.
You win some, you lose some.
Nigeria weren't good enough to beat Russia in the Semi-Finals, losing 85-77, but they did have enough in the tank to beat the Dominicans and that led to the players charging into the stands to hug and embrace and dance with the members of the congregation that they did not know, but grew to love.
The Nigerian coach, Ayo Bakare, went into the middle of the floor and danced like he'd won a gold medal after the win over the Dominican Republic.

Not many people gave Nigeria a chance of winning one of the three places to the London Games before the OQT, myself included.
Now that they've made it, who knows?
Russia and Lithuania, as expected, did make it to London, but so did the Nigerians.
Jeff Taylor from FIBA Today

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« Reply #30 on: Jul 16, 2012, 12:54:03 AM »

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FIBA to acquire .basketball domain for benefit of basketball community

Representatives of the global basketball community have come together in full support of the application by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to acquire the .BASKETBALL generic top level domain name.

The application reflects the desires expressed by FIBA’s global membership (213 FIBA Member Federations representing the interests of more than 450 million players worldwide), which has stated that its application for .BASKETBALL is in the best interest of the sport. As basketball's world governing body, FIBA is the sole valid contender for the .BASKETBALL domain name and does not support or authorise any other applicant as a valid steward of .BASKETBALL.

FIBA wants to ensure the .BASKETBALL is kept within the sport for the benefit of the global basketball community in order to uphold and promote the values and identity of the sport of basketball, and to protect the sport, its trademarks and the interests of its core stakeholders. FIBA is committed to ensuring .BASKETBALL is accountable to and used in the best interests of the game of basketball and the sports’ wider community.

FIBA Secretary General and IOC Member Patrick Baumann said: "In view of our values, mission and activities, FIBA is the only proper and rightful steward for the .BASKETBALL domain. It is not a question of ownership; rather we will ensure that everyone within the global basketball family can benefit. As the only applicant representing the entire basketball community, we will not support any other applicant. Instead we are working in close partnership with our national federations and the wider basketball community with the aim of making the .BASKETBALL accessible to the global basketball family at all levels.

This of course goes beyond FIBA and our National Federations to include professional and amateur players, event organisers and, of course, fans.”


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« Reply #29 on: Jul 14, 2012, 10:45:52 PM »

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The Electric Company

The New Zealand Tall Blacks showed up at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) shorthanded and facing long odds to claim one of the three places for London.

The Kiwis fell in their opener to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 84-62, but rebounded to win their second game against Angola, 68-64.

They didn't advance to the Quarter-Finals, however, losing out on a goal differential tie-breaker.

What the Tall Blacks did do, however, was show that good times are on the way.

They also placed a player on the all-electric team.

On that team are high-voltage hoopsters, guards, forwards and centers that have lit up the Poliedro arena with one eye-opening play after another.

The Kiwi who made jaws drop goes by the name Tai Webster.

A 17-year-old who played on New Zealand's FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championship-winning team and still a high school student, Webster dazzled in the victory over Angola, hitting shots from long range and scoring on breathtaking drives to the basket.

Webster didn't jump, but floated, including one occasion when he came in from the right wing, cupped the ball with his right hand and banked it in.

He’s very good, and confident, but not cocky.

“It’s definitely a big step up from what I’m used to,” Webster said.

“There are a lot better players out here, longer players, taller players, more athletic players, smarter – just better all-round players.

“We’re young at the moment so I guess we have a long way to go, but we’ll be there one day.”

Like Webster, fans at the Poliedro only saw Greivis Vasquez play two games.

But in a win over Nigeria and loss to Lithuania, Vasquez was all things playmaker, scorer and crowd pleaser.

He was on fire.

The New Orleans Hornets guard was the engine to Venezuela’s national team.

In the open floor, Vasquez was spectacular.

The 1.97m guard poured in 24 points in each game, drilling eight of 14 shots from long range.

He also finished with 10 assists and four steals.

For the home fans, Vasquez was the great entertainer because after a fabulous offensive move and score, he’d look at the crowd and do a little dance or wave his arms and increase the noise.

“It was a dream come true, playing in front of my home country,” Vasquez said after the triumph over Nigeria.

“This is my hood. This is my neighborhood, from like two blocks away.”

Vasquez made an early exit, but he did enough to earn a spot on the all-electric team.

“I’ve got to keep getting better,” he said.

Korea’s American-born Seung Jun Lee, aka Eric Sandrin, had an OQT he’ll never forget, going up against Andrey Kirilenko of Russia and Al Horford of the Dominican Republic.

“As an athlete, you always want to play against the best in the world,” he said.

He blocked shots and then hustled to the other end to catch alley-oop passes and dunk, and the 2.06m Lee also made three shots from the arc.

A true crowd-pleaser, Lee averaged 18 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

Korea, big underdogs at the OQT, played as hard as any team in Caracas but lost both games.

“To go up against these guys, to gauge Korean basketball and see where we need to go, we can’t hang our heads,” Lee said.

“We can take a very positive experience away from this.”

The name Marty Pocius doesn’t always end up in the headlines of Lithuania’s wins, but it should.

‘Mr Consistency’ converts, especially when he catches the ball in the corner and behind the three-point line.

At the OQT, Pocius either drilled the long ball, something he did five times from 10 attempts, or put the ball on the floor, drove to the basket and dunked.

The 1.96m shooting guard made 11 of 13 shots inside the arc, most of them of the rim-rocking variety.

“I’m in ecstasy right now,” Pocius said after Lithuania’s 109-83 win over the Dominican Republic that punched the team’s ticket to the London Games, where he’ll make his first Olympic appearance.

Watch Nigeria play a basketball game and you will feel exhilarated.

There are the Aminu brothers, Al-Farouq and Alade, Ekene Ibekwe, Ade Dagunduro and Tony Skinn.

The Nigerians are all things power, speed, elevation, self-belief, exhilaration.

Rather than pick one player from this national squad for the all-electric team, we’ll have all of Nigeria slot in to that remaining spot.

If they win against the Dominicans on Sunday in the final qualifying round game, the Nigerians will be at the Olympics.

If they don’t, pray that the Nigerian Basketball Federation gives this national team a chance to stay together and play in the future because on the evidence of the OQT, they are the most exciting development in international basketball.

Jeff Taylor from FIBA Today

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« Reply #28 on: Jul 11, 2012, 05:15:37 AM »

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Japanese brave hearts bow out with heads held high!

“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.”

This profound statement by Baron Pierre de Coubertin has been, and will be, the most quoted words of the Father of Modern Olympics. But more often than not, these words have been tastelessly twisted and conveniently turned into an excuse for the also-rans to take shelter under.

But standing out as a shining beacon of a testimony for the French Baron’s sentiments even before the cauldron has been lit at the Olympic Stadium at London is a group of athletes who showed grit, gumption and glorious guts in fighting till the proverbial final minute in their attempt to make it to the fray for the women’s basketball competition for the 2012 London Olympics.

If there was any team that people loved to watch - or as the commentators on FIBA TV put it “everybody’s hearts bleed when this team loses” - at last week's FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women (OQTW) in Ankara, Turkey, it was the Hayabusa – the Japanese Women’s National Team, that might just turn out to be the most gallant team not to play this year’s Olympics.

The story of the Japanese women’s performance in the Turkish capital is one of finding the right combination in line-up, choosing the appropriate approach in style of play and opting for the relevant tactic at the moment.

While Japan came out with flying colours in two of these three, they did falter in the last one – against the Czech Republic in the Quarter-Finals. Japan fouled too little in the dying moments thus allowing their rivals to use up time.

But against Canada, in the fight for the last available berth, Japan were undone by the ejection of their spearhead Yuka Mamiya for personal fouls, having brought the score-line to the closest deficit they had in the game with 3:30 left on the clock.

Considering that both these rivals were certainly more fancied – Czech Republic were after all runners-up at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women where Japan had finished 10th and Canada ranked four rungs above Japan in the FIBA Ranking for Women and were carrying a favourable head-to-head record in the last two decades – Japan’s showing on court, albeit with those lapses in the final moments should make the top mandarins of the JBA swell their chests with pride.

In between those defeats came Japan’s first win over FIBA Asia archrivals Korea in almost six years.

Yuko Oga, a member of the Japan team that last played in the Olympics – at Athens 2004 – put it succinctly.

“The manner in which we defeated Korea showed that, as a team, Japan’s women’s basketball team is improving. They (Korea) were stronger than when we met them last (in a Prelim Round Level I game at the 24th FIBA Asia Championship for Women at Omura last year, which Japan lost 66-59). The result here shows we have improved a lot in less than a year,” said Oga.

“We lost not for want of effort,” Japan coach Tomohide Utsumi heaped praise on his team.

“There was the kind of hunger to succeed that I have not seen in many teams that I have coached," added the 54-year-old, who made a comeback as coach after a four-year gap. His previous assignment had been the 2008 FIBA OQTW in Madrid, Spain.

“I think throughout the tournament, the team grew stronger with every game. And that showed in their performance. Just that with every game the opponents too were getting tougher. There was a lot of pride in these girls that they had to do the best for the team. I am sure things are a lot brighter for the future,” Utsumi explained.

The player with the brightest future, Mamiya, showed enough glimpses of her enormous potential to spearhead Japan in the future. She averaged 16.4 points per game and that spoke volumes about her.

“I think I was too tense and nervous when the clock started ticking,” Mamiya said recalling the fifth foul that led to her ejection with the game tantalisingly poised against Canada.

“It was one of those fouls that I’ll never forget in my life, but then it has also taught me a huge lesson for life,” the JX Sunflowers MVP of 2011-12 WJBL Finals said.

In those words of Mamiya probably lays the larger definition of Olympism itself.

After all, to quote Baron Coubertin again: “Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort and the educational value of a good example.”

So long…

By S Mageshwaran from FIBA

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« Reply #27 on: Jun 21, 2012, 04:51:31 AM »

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Politically incorrect

If you look at the final rankings for men’s wheelchair basketball at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, only 11 countries are listed, one less than the 12 scheduled for the tournament.

That also happened in Atlanta a dozen years earlier but only because Iraq withdrew at the last moment claiming a lack of funding for their delegation to make the trip. At least that’s what they said.

This time in China it was different. On the morning that Quarter-Final play was to begin at the arena, there was a buzz around the basketball arena. It was first rumored and later confirmed that Iran were withdrawing from their match against the United States. As such, their results would not be counted.

Four years earlier in Athens, they won just one game in pool play, against Greece, and lost the other four by anywhere from 14 to 32 points. They left on an up note after beating Brazil by four in a placement game to finish 9th.

In Beijing, Iran were poised to improve on that, if only by one spot at the worst. Led by players such as Alireza Ahmadi and Morteza Garibloo, they were improving. They had gone 3-2 in pool play, beating Sweden, Japan, and South Africa, while losing to Canada and Germany. And that was good enough to make the Quarter-Finals for the first time.

Surely the team wanted to play. I spoke with several journalists from Iran’s state television network who said as much.
But somewhere a decision was made that would rob them of the chance.

Was it that their opponent was the USA? Possibly, but earlier in the Beijing games, Iran had also gone up against the USA in goalball, a 4-3 loss. That hadn’t mattered in 2004, when Behnam Rahbari, a Persian table tennis athlete played and lost to an American competitor, Tahl Leibovitz; or in 2000 at the Sydney Paralympics, when Iran’s powerhouse sitting volleyball team beat the USA, and everyone else, on their way to a gold medal.

More likely, it was the likely outcome that after a loss to a stronger USA team, Iran would play Israel who would’ve been hard pressed to beat Australia.

It was purely a political decision, perhaps coming all the way from Tehran. The journalists I spoke to couldn’t or wouldn’t say. They were disappointed as well. I’m both American and Jewish and we got along great. They were sufficiently impressed with my ability to order a beer in Farsi, something learned from playing soccer with many Persians over the years. We were all there, athletes and media alike, for the games.

The big Olympic boycotts in 1976, 1980 and 1984 achieved nothing more than cheating athletes on all sides of the chance to achieve.

Pulling the plug on a team already there and ready to perform is no less cowardly and ill-conceived. Two years after Beijing, Iran withdrew from a taekwondo final in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore where they were scheduled to compete against Israel.

Games are a chance for us to show that we can get along, that we have more in common than we have in difference. I’m hoping London will have ample opportunity to prove this once again.

Here’s my advice to the politicians: Let ‘em play.

By Steve Goldberg from FIBA

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« Reply #26 on: Jun 10, 2012, 05:39:43 AM »

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It’s Sergio’s time again

The possibilities are endless for Spain coach Sergio Scariolo as he ponders the make-up of this summer's Olympic squad.

The player who now looks to be the best bet as the replacement for injured point guard Ricky Rubio is Sergio Rodriguez.

The way he delivered on Thursday for Real Madrid when they had their backs to the wall in Game 4 of their Liga Endesa play-off semi-final with Caja Laboral and won 76-66 will not have gone unnoticed at the Spanish Basketball Federation or in Italy, where Scariolo is currently coaching Olimpia Milano in the Italian Lega A semi-finals.

He showed tremendous poise running the offense and also drilled five three-pointers.

Rodriguez has been a frustrating player for Spanish fans in recent years because he was hyped in a big way at the start of his career.

A slick ball-handler and passer, Rodriguez excelled for the Spain youth teams and then at the very first opportunity, after graduating to the senior side and playing for then coach Pepu Hernandez, was electric coming off the bench at the 2006 FIBA World Championship.

In Japan, the sight of Rodriguez making alley-oop passes to the high-flying Rudy Fernandez confirmed that Spain’s national team had a very bright future.

But Rodriguez then took a decision to leave the home comforts of Spain as a 20-year-old, immediately after winning the world title in Japan, and moved to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Most observers will agree that while Rodriguez exposed himself to a different type of basketball, he did not continue his development and therefore, his move to America backfired.

Already in 2007 at the EuroBasket in Madrid, Rodriguez’s confidence looked as if it had taken a hit.

He was not the same player, but one who looked unsure of himself in the limited minutes he received.

Things didn’t go well in Portland, but he remained there until 2009 when he joined Sacramento.

After being lured by the expectation of more minutes on a very bad team, Rodriguez rarely played.

The 1.90m Rodriguez caught a break in 2010, though, when he ended up with the New York Knicks after being involved in a three-team trade.

Rodriguez appeared to be in a good situation in the Big Apple because the Knicks were coached by Mike D’Antoni, a former player and coach in Italy who felt the Spaniard had a bright future.

By the time the next season had rolled around, though, Rodriguez had decided to return to Madrid, though not to play with former club Estudiantes.

He signed a lucrative contract with Real Madrid.

Rodriguez got hurt 2010-11 and his play overall was indifferent, but this season has been a different story.

One rap on Rodriguez in his career is that he hasn’t been able to consistently knock down open jumpers.

Against Caja Laboral, though, he made five of six from behind the arc and all of them came in the flow of the offense.

He has been on target for much of the post-season.

"I have felt good from Day One of the play-offs,” Rodriguez said after Game 4.

“It’s important because it helps my game and now it keeps improving."

In six play-off games, Rodriguez has made a scintillating 12 of 16 attempts from behind the arc.

Rodriguez is a fun player to watch and seems to have matured offensively.

He remains a terrific dribbler and passer, and thrives in transition.

Yet in the grind-it-out, slow-it-down world that European basketball often is, he seems comfortable, too.

Rodriguez made a mistake at the end of Game 3 at Caja Laboral when the hosts were trailing by two and looking for a basket to force overtime.

Pablo Prigioni was dribbling very far out, about 15 feet beyond the arc, with nine seconds remaining and Rodriguez went out to guard him instead of sagging.

The savvy Prigioni, who was a teammate of Rodriguez’s last year at Madrid and is also the floor general of Argentina’s national team, ran Rodriguez into a pick and broke into the lane before making a lay-up to send the contest to an extra period.

Caja Laboral then won, 82-79.

Most of the Madrid players were fuming after the game because they felt they’d been victimized by some referee decisions, yet Rodriguez didn’t complain.

His team was still alive and when asked about his Madrid’s plan, Rodriguez said he and his teammates would simply have to work hard in practice with Coach Pablo Laso the next day before Game 4.

When Caja Laboral threatened to run away from Madrid in the third quarter on Thursday, Rodriguez was one of the players to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

His three-ball reduced the deficit to 48-43.

A few minutes later, following a basket by Pau Ribas that had put Caja Laboral into a 52-51 lead, Rodriguez answered with a shot from the arc for Madrid.

The next time down the floor, Rodriguez struck again from long range for a 57-52 Madrid advantage at the end of the frame.

Madrid never trailed again.

His last three-pointer was the knockout punch.

With Caja Laboral trailing by 11, a Rodriguez dagger stretched the lead to 14.

When his jumpers are falling, Rodriguez is one heck of a player.

He'll be looking to turn it on again big style in Game 5 against Caja Laboral on Saturday.

If Rodriguez leads Madrid past Caja Laboral and then steers them to the title and doesn’t make the Olympic squad, he’d be incredible unlucky.

If Scariolo were to include him in the team, the sadness of Rubio’s season-ending knee injury in Minnesota two and a half months ago would be replaced in Spain by the happiness of Rodriguez’s return.

Jeff Taylor from FIBA Today

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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2012, 06:53:56 PM »

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Wright or not - keep the minds and doors open !

The situation regarding Rasheim Wright donning the Jordanian National Team colours for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) is getting more interesting, even if not intriguing, by the day.

Jordan coach Tab Baldwin first announced a 20-member roster for the event in Caracas, Venezuela. He then tinkered it down to 18, with Wright's name not appearing in either list.

But now comes the news from sources that a top official of the Jordanian National Basketball Federation has invited Wright to play for the National Team and the initial discussion will involve talks about the time and scope of his long-term involvement with the "Al Nashama", which is what the Jordanian national team called itself during its unprecedented run at the 26th FIBA Asia Championship in Wuhan, China, last year, where the WABA team finished second losing the Final by a whisker to the host nation.

Now a few things have to be seen in perspective.

Wright is the most prolific scorer for Jordan in almost all their international competitions ever since he made his debut as a naturalised player in the 2007 FIBA Asia Championship at Tokushima. This is a hard fact.

The 31-year-old has scored in double-digits in all international events Jordan has taken part in since. Only at the 2010 FIBA World Championship did teammate Zaid Abbaas pip him as the team's leading scorer.

Jordan’s rankings in FIBA Asia Championships has certainly grown – with every edition of the event, the team has finished with a newer high.

These are the points that favour Wright.

Let’s look at the credentials of the coach who has not named Wright in the roster so far.

Baldwin’s reputation as a coach to achieve the impossible reached new heights when he took Jordan to an incredible run at the 26th FIBA Asia Championship.

A team that was written off before the start of the competition saved its best for the play-offs – and in a much clichéd manner went on a giant-killing spree before succumbing to a few moments of misfortune in the gold medal game.

Baldwin’s role in that achievement by Jordan is as unquestionable and irreplaceable as it was when he led New Zealand’s Tall Blacks to an unprecedented win over Australia in the 2001 FIBA Oceania Championship and subsequently to the Semi-Finals of the 2002 FIBA World Championship.

Now, a coach whose results only enhance his reputation must surely be heard with much deference, lest the very role of coaches in basketball becomes untenable.

It is here that the importance of the team’s greater goals should be kept in mind when looking at the two individuals – both undoubtedly can contribute to the team – and an effort must be made to bring the two together.

It will only be beneficial for all sides involved to go into the meeting room with an open mind – Wright, Baldwin and the Federation – to come out of it without closing the doors on development.

Like they say, there is nothing that can’t be solved over a cup of tea and the sacrifice of selfish goals.

I really hope Jordan basketball is the ultimate winner in the final outcome.

So long…

S Mageshwaran from FIBA Asia

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« Reply #24 on: Apr 30, 2012, 04:03:19 PM »

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Sponsorship Games

By the Chinese calendar, this is the year of the dragon but by another standard this will be the year of the fish and the flash, better known as Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt.

Their presence will only grow over the next several months and that’s because this is an Olympic year when sports like swimming and track suddenly reappear in the public consciousness after going into unwanted media hibernation once the last national anthem has been played.

As this column reaches a global audience, let me say that I’m writing this from an American bent, knowing full well that there are other continents and many countries that not only pay attention to but understand sports such as swimming, athletics, and so many other pursuits beyond the temporal boundaries of the Greek-inspired sweat fest.

I’ve also seen that countries like Germany, Great Britain, Australia and others that appreciate the so-called niche sports also tend to give a greater mainstream value and respect to Paralympic sports and athletes. For that I salute you all.

The reason I bring this up is that as the fervor for London 2012 begins to ratchet up, the official corporate sponsors of the games and participating national Olympic/Paralympic committees have started announcing and launching their marketing activation plans.

Themed advertisements, contests, promotions, athlete tie-ins; the full gamut will be unleashed as we drive towards the lighting of the first caldron on July 27. As I’ve read through the various news releases coming my way, I’ve been noticing not so much what’s in them but what’s not.

And that’s basketball.

Looking at five major companies in the U.S. and Canada, three of whom are IOC or London 2012 marketing partners, there was a noticeable lack of basketball players represented in the lists of Olympic and Paralympic athletes associated with these sponsors. (Note that none of these companies are sponsors of USA Basketball or the NBA.) Of 81 athletes, only one, Dwight Howard, is a basketball player and, now injured, he won’t be in London.

Given the global interest in the game with 450 million players worldwide according to FIBA – second only to football – I’ve been trying to sort out why.

Perhaps it’s because scarcity (at least on U.S. TV sets) makes athletes like Phelps and Bolt, as well as gymnasts, wrestlers, fencers and kayakers novel and exotic while basketball, professional and amateur, is pervasive to the point that March Madness lowers national productivity in America.

One would think that a sport with consistent annual coverage and recognition would have added value and that those athletes could offer brand equity over the long term. Do sponsors think basketball players are overexposed? Or is it that they’re too expensive.

On the Olympic side where the entirety of the USA team and a good bulk of many other national teamers will come from the riches of the NBA where sponsors are plentiful and payrolls flush, players don’t come cheap. To be honest though, neither are Phelps or Bolt at this point but even though basketball is a big deal at the Olympics, there is something more, for a lack of a better word, “Olympian” about swimmers and runners for whom this is without equal in their potential accomplishments.

Specifically though, since this column is about wheelchair basketball, where do the Paralympic Games fit in to all this? Save for a transcendent athlete such as amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius, wheelchair basketball players and all Paralympic athletes fit in with the sponsor/athlete economics of the majority of Olympic athletes who struggle to support their training and competition costs with little in the way of professional compensation.

For the same five companies I referred to above, 19 of their total 81 athlete relationships are Paralympians, just over 24% which may be considered very good given the complete ignorance of the true spending power of the disability market by most companies. This percentage may also be influenced by the unfortunate lack of mainstream media coverage given the world’s second largest multisport event in the U.S. where many corporate marketing decisions are made.

Oddly, though it’s the most pervasive of disability sports, none of the 19 are wheelchair basketballers.

This is yet another area where the American audience lacks global perspective. While the basketball competition of the Olympic Games demand attention, the FIBA World Championships are still working to gain status in the U.S., something that the FIFA World Cup now has only recently attained. For the IWBF World Championships, there’s the double media whammy of being international and a disability sport.

Ten years ago, I wrote a white paper for the Salt Lake Olympic & Paralympic Organizing Committee on the value of reaching the untapped disability market segment where I cited U.S. Census and other research figures of more than $1 trillion in income and over $220 billion in discretionary spending power by Americans with a disability.

The market that can be influenced by Paralympians in general and wheelchair basketball players in particular is far larger, far more lucrative and far more accessible than they know, yet a decade later few have heeded the call.

At least one has. Four of the 16 North American athletes sponsored by IOC global sponsor Visa are Paralympians and two of those – Alana Nichols of the USA and Richard Peter of Canada – are wheelchair basketball players.

There should be more across the board.

Domestically through the NWBA and CWBA, as well as internationally via the IWBF and other domestic leagues around the world, wheelchair basketball is the oldest and largest sport specific organization in disability sports with consistent competition and global presence.

Nichols, also a world class skier, and Peter, who has played professionally in Germany and Italy, can give their sponsor not only London but consistency in play for the years leading up to Rio de Janeiro. There are so many more out there who can help you deliver your message and sell your products and services.

Olympic and Paralympic athletes want everyone to know that they compete not once every four years but every day. For basketball, that awareness is already there; the game is big time all the time. When will that be reflected in the athlete sponsorships?

By Steve Goldberg from FIBA

Visit: The eBA Stats Group WITH YOU on Twitter !
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« Reply #23 on: Mar 20, 2012, 10:08:21 PM »

FIBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto FIBA & Comentarios Libres

Why wheelchair basketball matters

I’ve seen this more than once. The whistle blows for halftime at an NBA game and just as the high flyers head to the locker room, two other teams roll onto the court, literally.

Ten players in wheelchairs from the local team take to the hardwood for a halftime exhibition game. Sometimes it’s an adult team; other times it may be a junior squad. They play all the time but usually just in front of a few family and friends.

This is a chance to broaden the scope. There’s a smattering of polite applause from those fans still in their seats as others pour up the aisles to buy concessions or souvenirs or perhaps, sneak a smoke.

The ball goes up, a player takes possession and there’s more applause as he pushes it up the court. There’s a political correctness to it all. Isn’t it nice that those poor unfortunate people in their wheelchairs are out there trying to play basketball? They cheer the effort.

Then a shot goes in and the cheers get louder. As the other team crosses midcourt, the guy with the ball takes a dribble and pulls it back around his back, and the back of the chair, before lasering a pass to a cutting teammate who takes it, grabs one wheel that veers his chair sharply past a defender, grabs the other wheel to correct, and rolls under the basket where he spins a reverse lay-up off the backboard. This time they cheer the result.

Now the crowd is really paying attention. As the game progresses, wheels touch wrong and a player and his chair flip over in somewhat spectacular fashion. There’s a hush until he matter-of-factly flips it back upright and the crowd roars now with a different kind of respect. A few seconds later that same player knocks down a three-point shot and now the fans roar as loud as they would for their NBA hero.

You can describe the game all you want but until someone actually sees it for themselves, there’s always doubt as to just how good these athletes really are.

Why does this matter? Because it’s what you can do that’s important, not what you can’t. Wheelchair players can’t dunk. So what, neither can I, nor most of you reading this I figure.

“It matters,” says Matt Carroll, a ninth year NBA pro with the Charlotte Bobcats, “because it shows you that regardless of your situation or your circumstance that you can still play the game of basketball.”

Here’s a quick history: wheelchair basketball was first developed in the United States as recreational therapy for soldiers returning from World War II around 1946. A couple of years earlier, a wheelchair version of the British derivative netball was developed by Sir Ludwig Guttmann, the Baron de Coubertin of the Paralympic Games, at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England.

Oh yes, here’s a note: 1946 is the same year that the Basketball Association of America, the predecessor to the NBA, was formed.

Given basic human nature, wheelchair basketball quickly became competitive and is now played by tens upon tens of thousands of men, women and children with a disability around the world at all level - from recreational to world championships and Paralympics.  

And what’s great about basketball is exactly what’s great about wheelchair basketball - it’s at the same time empowering and humbling.

Carroll, who’s made a career as an NBA marksman, has sat in with the Charlotte Rollin’ Bobcats team adult and junior teams, agrees.

“For me being a shooter in the NBA and playing with the best players in the world, to go sit in a wheelchair and try to do it was very difficult. So they showed me how impressive and how skilled they are," he said.

“The beauty of it is that it’s still basketball. It’s the same game. You run the same type of plays, the same kind of ball movement. You take the same kind of shots.”

From shooting around by yourself to pick-up games to local leagues to national and world championship competitions, it’s whatever you want or need it to be. For every tournament trophy there are there are millions of shots taken just for the pure joy of putting a ball through a hoop.

There are other reasons why wheelchair basketball matters because it’s more than a game. Along with other Paralympic and disability sports, it’s about inclusion just as it was when racial barriers were first brought down in collegiate and professional in America. And that’s still happening.

Look at the acclaim given the curious case of Jeremy Lin who finally got his shot on Broadway. It could be argued that he had a disability by NBA standards. But was it his Asian heritage or that he went to Harvard? Since 2002, there have been at least seven - five Chinese, one South Korean, and one Japanese - Asian-born players in the NBA.  So it’s more so the latter, I’ll say as my favorite factoid in this episode is that Harvard has put four men in the NBA – Lin is the first since the 50’s – but eight in the White House.

Isn’t it nice that poor unfortunate boy with his Harvard degree is out there trying to play basketball ?

It’s not about being inspirational, though it may be. It’s about playing the game. So whether you’re supposedly limited by having to use a wheelchair or having an Ivy League education, or perhaps being twice as old as some NBA rookies as 39-year-old Grant Hill of the Phoenix Suns is, like Carroll said, “it’s still basketball.”

And about that halftime game.

The first thing that those fans saw was the wheelchairs. It was also the first thing they forgot as it became just basketball. That’s the way it should be. That’s why it matters.

By Steve Goldberg from FIBA

Visit: The eBA Stats Group Channel on YouTube
Posts: 99

« Reply #22 on: Mar 13, 2012, 11:06:24 PM »

FIBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto FIBA & Comentarios Libres

Photo contest marks 80th Anniversary

On 18 June 2012 FIBA will celebrate 80 years of existence and to mark the occasion, FIBA on Monday launched an online photo contest, which will see one lucky fan win a trip for two to the basketball finals at the London Olympics.

The aim is that people from all around the world unite to create gallery of basketball images paying tribute to the beauty and the diversity of this truly global sport.

An old photo of the legendary Michael Jordan suspended in mid-air just as he is about to hit a game-winning basket is of course welcome, but just as much and/or even more so are ones of young women playing basketball with a makeshift hoop in a remote Himalayan village or of peacekeeping troops shooting it up alongside local children in a conflict zone.

Something as simple as a nice picture of a Monday night pick-up game between friends can be submitted as well.

Any basketball related photo is welcome as long as the photographer owns the rights to it. The competition is open to anyone, whether a sports fan, basketball lover, amateur or professional photographer.

Each participant may upload up to five photographs.

As well entering a draw for a pair of tickets  to the Olympic Basketball finals (including travel and accommodation), participants can win limited edition Tissot watches.

FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann said on the occasion of the launch: “Of course we urge everyone who has a basketball related photo to share it with the world. But we will be happier still seeing thousands of people use the camera on their phone and take a picture whenever they see something 'basketball', or bring a camera with them whenever they go to watch or play.

“The message is that basketball is everywhere and belongs to everyone.”


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