|18 June 2012|
Exactly 80 years ago, on 18 June 1932, eight nations signed the founding act of the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur, FIBA.
Seven of those founding national federations were European.
Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, and Switzerland joined Argentina in creating a moment that, perhaps unbeknown to them at the time, would change the history of basketball for ever.
FIBA has since seen its membership grow steadily and today caters to 213 National Federations.
More importantly, it has helped transform a sport that was intended as an indoor student pastime when it was conceived by Dr James Naismith, to the second most popular sport around the world today.
"World basketball's governing body celebrates its 80-year anniversary today, but its state doesn't evoke at all the image of a fragile octogenarian," commented FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson.
"On the contrary, it continues to contribute with novel ideas and plans to the further popularisation of our beloved sport and the unity of the family of basketball, of which FIBA Europe is a proud member.
"Basketball is enormously important on our continent and, as a European, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate FIBA on its anniversary and wish all its member federations all the best in the coming eight decades and beyond," Mr Rafnsson concluded.
In the 80 years since its foundation, FIBA has organised 16 Men's and Women's World Championships and the sport has been played at 17 Olympics.
FIBA Europe, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in May, is one of the five FIBA zones along with FIBA Americas, FIBA Africa, FIBA Asia and FIBA Oceania.