Casual fans may not consider countries such as Andorra, Malta and Luxembourg as basketball powerhouses.
But these countries have been able to participate in international European competitions since 1988 thanks to the implementation of the Promotion Cup.
The Promotion Cup is a competition designed for small countries to compete in international competition.
The name will cease to exist after this year and will be re-named the European Championship C, as approved by the FIBA Europe Board in Madrid earlier this year.
Small Countries Commission President John Goncalves explained the reasoning for changing the name at the General Assembly in Munich this afternoon.
“The name European Championship will improve recognition among those in governments,” Goncalves said.
“We hope it will motivate players. It sounds better to say that they participated in an European Championship instead of a Promotion Cup.
“We hope that this will lead to better participation, more organising countries and greater press coverage.”
There have been 21 countries that have participated in Promotion Cups dating back to 1988. Malta have hosted the most events with five.
This year, the Men’s Promotion Cup will take place from May 29 – June 3 in Albania. It will mark the first time that Albania is hosting a FIBA Europe event.
From July 18-23, the Women’s Promotion Cup will take place in Malta with seven countries.
There will also be two U16 events for small countries this July. The men’s competition tips off in Andorra and the women’s event will take place in Luxembourg.
“In the future, we want to continue to improve all aspects of basketball in small countries,” Goncalves concluded in his report to delegates.
“Who knows what could happen if other countries follow us and have a competition for small countries? Maybe some day there will be a World Championship for small countries.”