EuroBasket 2015 Draw Completed

Germany, Dec 8, 2014: The path to EuroBasket 2015 officially took shape in Disneyland, Paris on Monday afternoon, following the Official Draw for Europe’s premier basketball event.

The European basketball family gathered to witness the Draw which saw Europe’s 24 elite men’s national teams divided into groups of four for next year’s Group Phase which will take place in Zagreb, Croatia; Montpellier, France; Berlin, Germany; and Riga, Latvia.

Defending champions and Final Round hosts France face a number of teams – Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Israel – who are perhaps seeking redemption following disappointing 2013 campaigns in which they failed to advance from the First Round. Partner Federation Finland make up the group.

Newcomers Iceland have been handed a baptism of fire, placed in Group B alongside hosts Germany, FIBA Basketball World Cup silver medallists Serbia and fellow European basketball powerhouses Spain, Italy and Turkey.

Group C has a particular southern European feel with Croatia and their partner Federation Slovenia joined by the F.Y.R. of Macedonia and Greece. Also in the group are Georgia, whilst Netherlands will be hoping to make a bang upon returning to Europe’s biggest basketball stage for the first time in 25 years.

Group D is an all-Baltic affair with Latvia hosting Lithuania alongside partner Federation Estonia. Joining them are Czech Republic, Belgium and Ukraine.
Assisting with the Draw were former and present internationals from the four host countries, Antoine Rigaudeau,Gunta Basko-Melnbarde, Gordan Giricek and Patrick Femerling. Also on hand were Rasho Nesterovic and Dejan Bodiroga.

Speaking first at the event, French Basetball Federation President Jean Pierre Siutat paid tribute to French legend Alain Gilles who recently passed away, whilst also making reference to current legends Tony Parker andBoris Diaw, saying that, “this generation, the current European champions, deserve to play in front of their home fans.”

FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel spoke proudly of the current strength of European basketball. “At last summer’s FIBA World Cup six of the eight quarter-finalists and three of the four semi-finalists came from our continent, just like at the 2010 FIBA World Championship. These results show that Europe remains the heart and soul of international basketball and will continue to be so when we celebrate the 80th anniversary of EuroBasket next year.

FIBA Europe Secretary General Kamil Novak spoke of the unique situation of having four host nations for EuroBasket 2015. “I am confident that in Croatia, France, Germany and Latvia, we have four very able host nations that will provide a spectacle which will have the eyes of the basketball world solely focused on Europe.”

His counterpart, German Basketball Federation President Ingo Weiss spoke enthusiastically of the potential of having four host countries: “The very first pan-European Basketball Championship will collect many thousands of basketball fans from the whole continent to celebrate the biggest, most colourful and happiest basketball event that ever took place in Europe.”

Speaking on behalf of Croatian Basketball Federation Secretary General Zeljko Draksic, Lidija Pleic from the Croatian Local Organising Committee said, “it is our wish to create beautiful memories during EuroBasket so all of you [fans] come back again one day to enjoy our hospitality.”

The Executive Director of Riga City Council, Juris Radzevichs reminded those present at the Draw that 2015 is not the first time that the city will host a EuroBasket. “77 years ago, Riga only had eight months to build a new sports arena and organise the second European Championship in basketball.

Now, eight months before EuroBasket, Riga already has a great arena for basketball and good tourism infrastructure.”

Please click here to download courtesy photos of the EuroBasket 2015 Draw (copyright: FIBA Europe/Christophe Petit Tesson) as well as the official event logo and mascot of EuroBasket 2015.

The EuroBasket 2015 Group Phase groups are:

GROUP A (Montpellier) GROUP B (Berlin) GROUP C (Zagreb) GROUP D (Riga)
France Spain Croatia Lithuania
Finland Serbia Slovenia Ukraine
Bosnia and Herzegovina Turkey Greece Latvia
Poland Italy F.Y.R. of Macedonia Belgium
Israel Germany Georgia Czech Republic
Russia Iceland Netherlands Estonia
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