|Romania Federation Gala: Ion Tiriac; Octavian Morariu, Romanian Olympic Committee; Ofafur Rafnsson, FIBA Europe President; Daniel Funeriu, Romania’s Minister of Education, Youth and Sport; Nar Zanolin, FIBA Europe Secretary General|
European basketball personalities and Romanian political and sports leaders were among the attendees of the celebration gala, organized by the Romanian Basketball Federation on 30th January, to mark the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the sport's International Federation.
FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson, Secretary General Nar Zanolin, Head of Operations Miguel Betancor and Head of Competitions Richard Stokes were among the attendees at the Bucharest event, commemorating the historic act from June 1932, when eight nations (Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland) signed the founding act of Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA).
Romanian Basketball Federation President Carmen Tocala's long list of distinguished guests also included Daniel Funeriu (Minister of Education, Youth and Sports), Laszlo Borbely (Minister for the Environment), Octavian Morariu (Romanian Olympic Committee), Ivan Bodrogvary (FIBA-Europe Board Member), Dino Meneghin (president of Italian Basketball Federation and FIBA Europe Board Member), Kosta Iliev (FIBA 3x3 Director), , Georgi Glushkov (Bulgarian Basketball Federation), Claudio Coldebella (Benneton Treviso General Manager), Ron Coppenrath (Secretary General of IWBF), Doina Melinte (President of Romania's Sports and Youth Authority), Ion Tiriac (President of the Romanian Olympic Foundation), Romanian sports legends Gheorghe Popescu (football), Gabriela Szabo (athletics) and many others.
The 3-hour long event was full of surprises, including 3x3 and wheelchair basketball exhibition games, a slam-dunk contest, a fashion parade with first division players in the roles of models role and a lot more.
The ceremony ended with a concert by renowned artist EDDY CRBL, who prepared a special choreography for the occasion.
|Romania Federation Gala: Nar Zanolin, FIBA Europe Secretary General; Viorel Cojocaru, Bucharest University Rector, Miguel Betancor, FIBA Europe Head of Operations; Alina Moanta|
"Since 1932 Basketball has become the second most popular sport in Europe and the world, a popular Olympic discipline and the activity of choice for young people in schools around the planet," said Olafur Rafnsson.
"Our sport continues to enjoy a phenomenal growth rate; it develops daily to a degree that makes really anything seem possible."
"I would like to thank the Romanian basketball federation for this great initiative," commented Nar Zanolin.
"Most of all, I would like to express my gratitude towards the people that took that initial step forward, on 18th June 1932, to create the sport's governing body in a landmark event. We at FIBA Europe know that the first 80 years is just the beginning for basketball and we work hard every day to make sure the next 80 are even more successful."
|Romania Federation Gala: Octavian Morariu, Romanian Olympic Committee; Carmen Tocala, Romanian Basketball Federation President; Ofafur Rafnsson, FIBA Europe President|
Carmen Tocala said: "In these past eight decades, basketball, both in Romania and internationally, has developed considerably. The 22 National Championships that are organized annually by the Romanian Basketball Federation, in different age groups; the 155 games that take place weekly in the territory of our country; the 8 to 10 national teams registered for the annual European Championships and, most importantly, all the 6 or 8-year-olds who are eager to practice this wonderful sport, give us the confidence that this sport phenomenon is set to have a magnificent future."
Legendary athlete Doina Melinte shared Tocala's vision of the future: "Fortunately, basketball is acquiring more and more followers, especially thanks to the Romanian Basketball Federation policy to promote the popularization of this sport. I believe that in a few years, Romanian basketball will be able to produce outstanding performance not only domestically but also on European and international level."