|"It is all up here." The management of the game is more important than ever, according to FIBA Europe Head of Operations Miguel Betancor|
Russian teams enjoyed huge successes in FIBA Europe competitions this summer.
After four years of absence, Andrei Kirilenko returned to bring his team back to the podium at EuroBasket in Lithuania.
In one of the best games of the tournament, the Russians had to accept their only EuroBasket defeat in their Semi-Final against France, after winning 9 straight games in the first two rounds and the Quarter-Final against Serbia.
The men's bronze medal was even surpassed by the women's team, who captured the gold medal at EuroBasket Women in Poland in dominating fashion after a bumpy start into the tournament.
The future of Russian basketball also looks bright with the youth teams bringing home a silver medal (U20 Women) and several top five finishes in the Youth European Championships.
While the success of the teams is important, one aspect that is easily forgotten is to provide refereeing on the same level as the players and coaches.
In order to help improve the level of refereeing in Russia, FIBA Europe Head of Operations Miguel Betancor attended a clinic for Russian referees in Moscow.
As part of the agreement with the Russian Basketball Federation, Betancor brought with him the new FIBA Europe teaching materials for referees.
Also present at the clinic was the Russian referee coordinator and member of the FIBA Europe Technical Commission, Sergey Fomin.
"The aim is to improve the level of refereeing in Russia, but also to promote a new, up and coming generation of referees" stated Betancor.
Betancor gave lectures about the right criteria in refereeing and management of the game, all supported by brand new examples from EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania this month.
"We were very satisfied with the level of officiating during EuroBasket" explained Betancor.
"But we must not be satisfied now. We will further improve the performances of the referees and make sure they stay at this high level."