While the teams for the Eurobasket 2009 final had yet to be determined on Saturday, the first official step on the road to Eurobasket 2011 was taken with the introduction of the logo (though BallinEurope still much prefers the green-and-gold losing bid) and venues for the next biennial tournament.
Members of the press were given a formal presentation by FIBA officials, a group of mayors from Lithuania’s host cities, and even the country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs in giving a first look at Eurobasket 2011 trappings.
The tournament in 2011 will represent the first occasion that Lithuania has hosted Eurobasket since 1939 (!). Looking over that series reveals plenty of laughs and bizarre scores seemingly impossible in the days before the 24-second clock. I mean, check out Finland’s minus-471 point differential in seven losses: That’s nearly 69 points per game, “earned” in defeats by scores of 108-7, 91-1 and 112-9. (And BiE thought Great Britain was bad in this year’s tournament…)
Official FIBA Europe press release follows.
(FIBA Europe) – With EuroBasket 2009 entering its final two days Saturday was the perfect opportunity to introduce some of the key players in the organization of EuroBasket 2011 to take place in Lithuania in two years time.
Lithuania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vygaudas Usackas joined FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin to visit with a room full of media interested in a first look at the events new official logo, and to view a video presentation detailing Lithuania’s rich basketball history and introducing the host cities.
“It will have been a 72-year break since we hosted a EuroBasket in Lithuania,” said Usackas, “and we are working with the city mayors to assure that we organize the best possible championship.”
Also present were Vilnius deputy mayor Gintautas Babravicius, Kaunas mayor Audrius Kupcinskas, Siauliai mayor Genadijus Miksys, Panevezys mayor Povilas Vadopolas, and Lithuanian Basketball Federation president Vladas Garastas.
“With every EuroBasket there must be improvement, this is the only way for us to grow,” commented Zanolin.
“Right now all indications are that that we will have an even more successful EuroBasket in 2011.”
The host cities for EuroBasket 2011 will be Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai, Panevezys and Alytus.