The draws for FIBA Europe youth competitions were completed today in Krakow, Poland.
There were 191 teams drawn for 12 of the 16 FIBA Europe youth competitions: Division A and B U16 Men and Women, Division A and B U18 Men and Women, and Division A and B U16 Men and Women.
Twenty different countries were represented at the draw.
For results, click here.
The following are comments from various participants in attendance:
"The caliber of play at our youth competitions has been fabulous. We are proud of the success of our new youth system. In a very short amount of time, we have reached a high level in terms of organisation and competition. ... We see in this draw many difficult groups and I am looking forward to watching some competitive basketball this summer from the future stars in our game." - FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin
"Youth basketball personally was a very good experience for me. After playing in my first youth championship in 1983, I was encouraged to keep playing. It helped me to develop." - Irina Sumnikova, director of women´s youth teams in Russia and a former four-time Olympic player with the Russian national team
|Irina Sumnikova played with the Russian national team from 1983-2000|
"It is always difficult to see if the draw has been favourable or not. In 2005, we had excellent results. We want to continue performing to the highest level possible. Our youth program is very important and we want to be a part of all competitions. The program bas been an integral part in developing players like Tony Parker and Boris Diaw." - Lucien Legrand, director of INSEP (National Institute of Sports and Physical Education) in France
"It was interesting to see how countries in close proximity were frequently drawn against each other. Ireland drew England three out of six times. I also noticed the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic were frequently drawn against each other, as well as countries from the Balkans. ... We agree with FIBA Europe that these youth competitions are about development and we totally believe that this structure is correct. We are trying to emulate this in our own structure in Ireland." - Greg Gurr, head coach of Ireland´s senior men´s national team as well as technical director in the Irish Basketball Federation
"Women´s basketball is very interesting at this age. Tenerife is a place with a great basketball history and I think that the U18 European Championship Women will generate significant public interest and press coverage." Juan Carlos Rivero, managing director of U18 European Championship Women to be held in Tenerife, Spain
"We as the Polish National Federation want to qualify as much as possible for Division A. The groups are tough and it will be difficult, but we are focused. This is all part of our program leading up to 2009 when we will host EuroBasket here in Poland. We want to promote the 2009 EuroBasket in coordination with the success of our youth." - Marcin Widomski, Polish Basketball Federation and EuroBasket 2009 manager
"It has been over 10 years since we have organised a competition in Finland. I think that the competition will be very good for Finnish basketball." - Jarmo Lehtonen, managing director of the U16 Division B European Championship Women to be held in Jyväsklä, Finland
"Youth competition is most important at this time. We see our future in our young basketball players and I think that the system FIBA Europe put in place has been fantastic in increasing our youth level." Jozef Smolek, Secretary General of the Slovak Republic Basketball Federation