|18 February 2008|
In basketball terms there were a lot of important things going on in Venice on Saturday.
The draw for the Qualifying Round of both EuroBasket and EuroBasket Women 2009 drew media and officials from all over Europe but when all the teams had been drawn there was something more important than basketball on the agenda.
As FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin briefly introduced an organization known as "Il Piccolo Principe" (The Little Prince) about 25 clowns filled the stage where the draw had just taken place.
The organization, made up of about 60 volunteers, visit hospitals in the Venice area and uses what is commonly known as "clown therapy" to lift the spirits of children spending time in the pediatrics ward.
"At FIBA Europe we work a lot with youth and what attracted us to this organization was that they work mainly with young people." commented Zanolin, before presenting the organization with a check from FIBA Europe for € 3,000.
"They're doing great work and any way we can help out we will."
Il Piccolo Principe was founded in 2002.
"Our goal is to bring a smile to sick people and to relieve their suffering with our joyful presence, even if only for short moments." Said Dr. Filippo Bernardi.
"We would like to thank you for your great support and for the attention you paid to us today."