EuroBasket 2015 opens in Zagreb


The 39th EuroBasket championship opened in Zagreb on Thursday evening, the other host cities being Riga, Berlin, Montpellier and Lille.

The EuroBasket was jointly opened by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel.

Recalling that in 1989 Zagreb hosted the 26th EuroBasket that inspired many talents to become great players, Demirel said that basketball stars like Drazen Petrovic, Toni Kukoc and Arvydas Sobonis inspired many boys to become basketball players.
“This year Croatia, France, Germany and Latvia will serve as the stage for a new generation of legends to take their place in basketball history. FIBA Europe’s decision to play this tournament in four countries reflects our commitment to bringing basketball directly to the fans who love it,” said Demirel.
President Grabar-Kitarovic said that Croatia excelled in many sports and that medals won at big competitions had promoted the country as a great sport nation. She expressed the belief that those successes had contributed to Croatia being given the task to organise a part of the EuroBasket championship. “I hope that all the national teams and the fans from abroad will take home only the best impressions of Zagreb and Croatia,” she said.
Also attending the opening ceremony were the president of the Croatian Basketball Federation, Ivan Suker, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic and Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic’s enovy, Science, Education and Sport Minister Vedran Mornar, who expressed confidence that Zagreb’s Arena would be full of basketball fans during the first phase of the competition.
“For the first time in history, EuroBasket will be hosted by more than one country with the Group Phase taking place from 5-10 September in Berlin, Germany; Montpellier, France; Riga, Latvia; and Zagreb. The French city of Lille will play host to the Final Phase in the 27,000-seat Pierre Mauroy Stadium from 12-20 September,” FIBA Europe said on its web site.