Denmark Returns To The Big Stage

04 December 2012
Nicolai Iversen (Denmark)
Nicolai Iversen will be an integral part of the relaunched Danish senior mens team next summer

The men's Danish national team will return to the European scene in the summer of 2013, after a three-year absence from all official competitions.

The Danish basketball federation (DBBF) kicked off a new long-term project by opting to register the senior team in the first Qualification Round for EuroBasket 2015, which takes place next August.

The newly-appointed DBBF Sporting Director, Hrannar Holm, commented: "We have secured a very serious national team program for the next two years."

Only one team will clinch qualification to EuroBasket 2015 next summer, but Denmark have confirmed that if they fail to secure the spot will return to the Qualification Round the following year.

"We will get six-to-eight games next summer and eight-to-ten games in 2014, and in addition the national team will play here in Denmark in the summer of 2014," Holm said.

"This means that we will have around 20 international games at [a] high level and we hope that we can use them to show good results and develop the national team.

"It will be important for us that we can get our best players and our best talents to participate in this program, which starts after the end of the Basketligaen (Danish league) in the spring."

Denmark's men last participated in the European Championship for Small Countries (formerly Division C) in 2010 and conquered the title.

The team was then withdrawn from subsequent competitions due to logistical issues and financial constraints, with the emphasis given on the youth teams at U20, U18 and U16 age level.

"I believe and hope that this project will affect elite basketball in Denmark in a positive way and look forward again to see the national team play competitive games," Holm said.

"It is too early for us to set goals for the first phase - it depends a lot on the opponents.

"Our overall goal is to qualify for the Final Round of a EuroBasket, but we do not know yet whether we are strong enough to do it in 2015 or if it will be later.

"Regardless of who we play against, the goal is to bring good international basketball to the Danish audience in the next two years."

14. Rasmus Larsen (Denmark)
Rasmus Larsen is one of a number of promising young Danish players coming through the system

Danish star Nikolai Iversen, the center who led the side in both scoring and rebounds in 2010 as well as in their Division B campaign in 2009, is expected to spearhead Denmark's efforts next summer.

Iversen's generation could get plenty of support from the talented youngsters that have emerged from the U20 and U18 European Championships in the last couple of years.

Denmark's U18 team clinched an historic promotion to Division A in 2011 and participated at the European Championship in Lithuania and Latvia last summer.

The DBBF decided to start the new project with a clean slate and terminated its collaboration with coach Peter Hoffman, who was at the helm of all men's teams for the last three years.

"It is our assessment that we would like to have a new coach to lead the national team program during the next two exciting years," Holm said

"We are in the process of defining the job description and the position will be advertised soon.

"We expect to have a new coach in place in early 2013."

The draw of the first Qualification Round takes place on Saturday in Munich.

The 15 participating national teams will be drawn into three groups of four and one group of three teams.

They will then face each other in home and away games in August, with the winners of each group advancing to the two-leg semi-finals.



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