Federation Focus: Israel

19 June 2012

Founded in 1968, the Israel Basketball Association (IBA) oversees the sport of basketball in Israel, from amateur to professional level and is responsible for all national teams. The Federation encourages the development of youth basketball and new talent. In 2009, the Israel Basketball Academy was founded, giving the most talented players of the country the chance to progress in the best way. The facilities at the Wingate Sports Institute in Netanya allow an intense and professional basketball education. Numerous youth national players have evolved from the academy.

Israel at EuroBasket 2011
Israel finished 13th at EuroBasket 2011. The only medal for the senior men's team came in 1979 when Israel won silver at the European Championship.


The senior men's national team first appeared in international competitions in the early 1950s. Israel made their only Olympic appearance at the Helsinki Games in 1952. They finished eighth at the World Championship in 1954. The second participation at a World Championship saw them clinch seventh spot in 1986. The greatest result however was achieved at the European Championship in 1979. Israel won the silver medal after losing in the final to the Soviet Union, 98-76.

The first official game of the Israeli women's national team was played on 1 January 1950, a 95-13 loss against Hungary. The 1991 European Championship for Women was the first European Championship to be hosted by Israel. In recent years, the U20 women's national team has brought joy to Israeli basketball, as they won the 2005 European Championship Division B with a perfect record.

In the Israeli Premier League, eleven teams compete for the championship. Maccabi Tel Aviv have conquered their 50th domestic league title in 2012, with the first championship having come in 1954. Maccabi Tel Aviv were also the first Israeli team to take part in a European club competition. They played Steaua Bucharest in the first round of the FIBA Champions' Cup 1957-58, but did not advance to the Quarter-Finals.

Maccabi fans during the 2000-01 SuproLeague season
Maccabi Tel Aviv fans had many reasons to celebrate during the 2000-01 SuproLeague season, as their team cruised to the title, defeating Panathinaikos in the final, 81-67.


Although the premiere might not have been crowned by success, Maccabi Tel Aviv went on to win five European titles, representing Israeli basketball in the best possible way. They conquered the European Cup for Men's Champion Clubs in 1977 and 1981, both finals being thrillers. Tel Aviv beat Mobilgirgi Varese 78-77 in the 1977 final and faced another Italian team in 1981, winning again by one point. This time, Maccabi got the best of Virtus Bologna, 80-79. The last three titles all came in the first decade of the 21st century. A 2001 FIBA SuproLeague trophy was followed by back-to-back Euroleague titles in 2004 and 2005. The 2004 final took place in Tel Aviv and will always be remembered by Maccabi fans, as their team romped Fortitudo Bologna 118-78, breaking 10 separate records in the modern Final Four era.



Date of foundation: 08 August 1968
President: Avner Kopel
Secretary General: Yaacov Ben Shoshan

Registered players:
- U18 Men: 16,785
- U18 Women: 2,881
- Senior Men: 4,367
- Senior Women: 1,637
Registered clubs: 250
Registered coaches: 1,200



1972 European Championship for Junior Men in Zadar (Yugoslavia): 4th place
1979 European Championship for Men in Mestre, Siena, Gorizia, Turin (Italy): Silver
1992 European Championship for Men '22 and Under' in Athens (Greece): 4th place
1997 European Championship for Cadets in Pepinster, Kortrijk, Quaregnon (Belgium): Bronze
2000 European Championship for Young Men in Ohrid (F.Y.R. of Macedonia): Silver
2004 European Championship for Men U20 in Brno (Czech Republic): Silver
2005 U20 European Championship Men in Chekhov (Russia): 4th place

Follow Us On Twitter

Like Us On Facebook