|02 September 2013|
|Referees in preperation for EuroBasket 2013|
Kranjska Gora has played host to a number of clubs and national teams every summer when they head to the foot of the mountains to get into shape and build winning teams each year.
This year, instead of a team of players heading to the town to prepare for an upcoming tournament, it was the referees and officials for EuroBasket 2013.
On 31 August, 40 referees, eight commissioners and the members of the FIBA Europe Referee Department began to add the final touches to their preparations for the EuroBasket Competition.
Head of the Referee Department Richard Stokes commented, "We are not here to teach the referees, we are here to make sure that they are ready physically and mentally for the challenge ahead.
"We believe that we have selected the best group of officials for this tournament and in reality we are the 25th team. No one will be cheering for us or supporting us, but for sure people will have opinions about our team, just like any other.
"We have to be every bit as serious in our approach and attitude as the teams will be."
The three-day meeting includes a number of different sessions, all geared up to ensuring that the referees have the same approach in every game.
"Consistency in our management of the games are the key indicators of quality for our group. If the players and the coaches trust our officiating, then this is a big part of having a successful competition.
"Of course there will be pressure, but that is to be expected in one of the best competitions in the world."
Former NBA official Ronnie Nunn has continued his long association with FIBA Europe by also being on hand to work with the officials.
During the camp, Nunn commented, "Coming from the NBA I have worked with and seen some of the best officials in the world, but since I have worked with the FIBA Europe Referee Department I have seen a number of other world class officials in EuroBasket competitions.
"There are of course a lot of great players and coaches in this tournament and so they deserve the best work of the officials.
Building a consistent approach also means building a team. Alan Richardson from the FIBA Europe Referee Department believes that this is also just as important as the technical aspects.
"We have spent some time here already on some team building exercises and some mental agility work, because we need officials with different skills and tools to deal with the games that they will face. Many of the officials know each other already and that makes our job a little easier, but we are looking for excellence in what they are about to do, no matter what they have done until now."