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FIBA Europe President Speaks on the Future of European Basketball

09 October 2003

FIBA Europe President Mr. George Vassilakopoulos was in Madrid, Spain today at the Pedro Ferrandiz Foundation where he gave a presentation entitled “The Present and Future of European Basketball”.

Mr. Vassilakopoulos spoke on the following themes:

The role of professionalism and commercialisation in sport:

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Mr. George Vassilakopoulos
Mr. Vassilakopoulos emphasised that sport is a social, not a financial or commercial activity. Sport needs money but it is necessary to distinguish between commercialism and professionalism, 2 totally separate things.

He explained that the common factor between these two concepts is money. With professionalism sport uses money to achieve the best results possible. In commercialisation money is used as an investment and in turn sport is used as a means to achieve the best financial gain. For FIBA Europe they are different things and commercialisation has no place within sport.

He added that we should be also careful not to compare professionalism to amateurism. An amateur is somebody giving up time on an occasional basis. Sport administration is achieved through a combination of professional staff and volunteers. This is one of the main features and strong points of sport

Relations with the NBA

Mr Vassilakopoulos spoke of the necessity to re-examine and renew an agreement with the NBA through an open, frank and creative dialogue. The issues to be examined should include the questions of the young European players going to the NBA as well as the WNBA.


The development of young players

Mr. Vassilakopoulos praised the work the progress made in European basketball, which is due to the continuous work of the clubs, national federations and international federation within the pyramidal sports structure. This system is recognised across the world as the most efficient for grooming young talent.

The recognition of sport by the European Union

Mr. Vassilakopoulos welcomed the inclusion of sport in the new draft EU Treaty, the first time that sport will receive legal recognition by the EU. This is only a first but very positive step.


European Championships for Men and Women

Mr. Vassilakopoulos also gave some facts and figures highlighting the great success of the recent European Championships for Men and Women in Sweden and Greece respectively.

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