Federation Focus: Slovenia

29 May 2012

Although being a young country, Slovenia has a rich basketball history and plenty of milestones to look back at. Founded in 1950, the Basketball Federation of Slovenia became a FIBA member in 1992. After the break-up of former Yugoslavia, Slovenia debuted as an independent country in the European Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men in 1992. A lot of competitions were added to the list in the past 20 years, amongst others ten European Championships for Men and two World Championships.

In 2010, the Federation not only celebrated its 60th birthday, but was also named host of EuroBasket 2013, the first ever EuroBasket in Slovenia. The first big test event for the EuroBasket was held in 2011, when all six former Yugoslav countries met in a preparation tournament for the first time since their independence.


Slovenia EuroBasket 2011 marketing campaign
In 2005, the senior men's national team finished sixth at the EuroBasket and qualified for the World Championship for the first time. Four years later, the squad achieved the best result ever at a EuroBasket by reaching the semi-finals and finishing in fourth place. Now the focus is on 2013, as the team, the organization and the fans wish to leave a lasting impression at the first ever EuroBasket in Slovenia.


Slovenia has produced major basketball talent throughout the years. One true basketball legend with Slovenian origins is Ivo Daneu. The guard has won eight Olympic, World and European Championship medals with Yugoslavia and is the first Slovene to be inducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame, in 2007. Nowadays Slovenian players have significant roles in European top teams and NBA clubs. In 2006, six Slovenes played in the NBA, making Slovenia the top country outside the US by number of players in the NBA per capita.


First FIBA Europe 3on3 stop in Ljubljana, 2011
In 2004, the first 3on3 national championship was held, becoming a true highlight on the Slovenian basketball calendar. In 2011, 3on3 basketball took centre stage on international level, as the first FIBA Europe 3on3 event was organized in Ljubljana.


With regard to the future, the Federation has always put a special focus on youth. Since 1967, the Federation organizes the biggest and oldest school competition in basketball. Almost 60 per cent of all Slovenian primary schools attend the ‘Pioneer festival' with more than 800 teams taking part in the four categories (U12 and U14 boys, U12 and U14 girls). Slovenia also plays host to the annual FIBA Europe International Camp For U15 Girls. Accompanying the event, a camp for boys is organized as well. This year, the 36th edition has already taken place. Another unique project was launched in 2008: ‘Playful basketball' is bringing basketball to children aged from four to nine.

In club competitions, two Slovenian teams have clinched international trophies. Union Olimpija Ljubljana won their first and only European title in 1994, defeating Tau Ceramica 91-81 in the final of the European Cup for Men's Clubs. Three years later, the club participated in the Final Four of the EuroLeague, finishing in third place. In 2011, KRKA Novo Mesto capped a fantastic EuroChallenge season with an 83-77 final triumph over Lokomotiv Kuban to win the only international title in club history.


Staff members of the Slovenian Basketball Federation
The staff of the Slovenian Federation is dedicated 100 per cent - to their jobs and, most importantly, to basketball.


Roman Volcic, President of the Basketball Federation of Slovenia:

"When I take a look at everything the Basketball Federation of Slovenia has done in the past, I feel proud and satisfied. With only 14 employees who are extremely dedicated to their job and Slovenian basketball, the Federation has accomplished to be one of the best organized and most successful in Europe, increasing its budget during the financial crisis with great marketing moves and projects. Currently the federation is working on its biggest project and biggest event in independent Slovenia - EuroBasket 2013, which will take place in five cities from 4-22 September 2013. I would like to welcome everybody to Slovenia next year and also in July 2012, when we will hold the U20 European Championship for Men. I am proud of the achievements of the Slovenian national teams which have made us happy during these 20 years of independency and have taken the name of Slovenia to Europe. I am also very proud and happy that we have such great fans which have become a true brand. I can say with ease they are the best in Europe!"


Headquarters of the Slovenian Basketball Federation
In 2001, the Federation moved to offices at Leskoškova 12 in Ljubljana. The headquarters are now in ownership of the Federation.



Date of foundation: 15 January 1950
President: Roman Volcic
Secretary General: Iztok Rems

Registered players:
- U18 Men: 927
- U18 Women: 226
- Senior Men: 1,129
- Senior Women: 173
Non-registered players: approximately 15,000
Registered clubs: 138
Registered coaches: 588


Slovenias U18 womens team at the 2010 European Championship
In 2010, the Slovenian team finished fourth at the U18 European Championship Women, with Nika Baric being named MVP of the tournament. It is the greatest achievement so far in the history of women's basketball in Slovenia.



1998 European Championship Men ‘22 and Under' in Trapani (ITA): Silver
2000 European Championship for Young Men in Ohrid (MKD): Gold
2002 European Championship for Junior Men in Ludwigsburg, Esslingen, Böblingen (GER): Silver
2004 European Championship for Men U20 in Brno (CZE): Gold
2006 U20 European Championship Men in Izmir (TUR): Bronze
2008 U18 European Championship Men Division B in Debrecen (HUN): Gold




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