FIBA Europe Press Release: The FIBA Europe Board decided on Sunday that Ukraine will be the host country of HOST EuroBasket 2015. FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson, who announced the Board’s decision, spoke immediately after the signing of the Hosting Agreement: “I would like to congratulate Ukraine and the large delegation of important personalities that came to Munich to support the bid.
“We all know that Ukraine is a big country, we have detected a lot of enthusiasm and the will to become one of the powerhouses of European basketball, and I think they have everything they need to succeed. They have been organising and will organise big sporting events with great success.” FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin added: “I am looking forward to working with Sasha Volkov and Sasha Larin. I have been to Ukraine a number of times and have always felt the warmest hospitality.
“Having seen the presentation, I am convinced that this will be a very special event. FIBA Europe will celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2012 and it’s only appropriate that after Lithuania setting a high standard for the EuroBasket this year, Slovenia will go further in 2013 and Ukraine will take it to another level in 2015,” he concluded.
Sergey Bubka, the legendary Olympic Gold Medallist and six-time World Champion fronted the Ukrainian bid in his current capacity as National Olympic Committee President. “I am very happy, very proud, I have known Sasha Volkov many years, we became Olympic champions together in Seoul and I know he tries his best for basketball,” Mr Bubka stated.
“This is a great historical decision for Ukrainian sport, for Ukrainian basketball and European Basketball and we promise to deliver the best EuroBasket in our country. “As President of the Olympic Committee of Ukraine, I am obliged to do my best for this great opportunity you have given us,” the world-renowned former pole vaulter concluded.
Ukrainian Basketball Federation President Oleksandr Volkov was delighted: “First of all thank you very much for this decision, it made me feel like in 1988 in Seoul when we won the Olympic gold, when you don’t feel it until it’s over, and I had that same feeling today. “We had great support from all our government and the people you saw here today, we were a united group of people who decided that after football we can also do the same for basketball.
“Ukraine is a big country and I am sure that the EuroBasket will unite it in the same way that football has done now. “I am going on a short holiday now but from 2012 I will work 24 hours a day to make sure this is the best EuroBasket ever, because basketball is my life, it’s my family,” Mr Volkov concluded.
Deputy Prime Minister Boris Kolesnikov, who made the trip to Munich to demonstrate his government’s full support for the bid, stated: “On behalf of the government I would like to thank you for this great honour and assure you that Ukraine, which has a great tradition of hospitality, will host a great EuroBasket and make it an event to remember for ever.”
Ukraine was the only candidate to host EuroBasket 2015 after the withdrawal of a joint bid by Croatia, France, Germany and Italy earlier this week. The proposed EuroBasket 2015 venues are in the cities of Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk and the capital Kyiv for the First Round with Odessa, Lviv and again Kyiv hosting the Second Round and the Finals.