By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Tomas van den Spiegel is the new President of the ULEB (Union of European Leagues of Basketball). The Belgian former player has been elected at the Assembly held in Barcelona today, and becomes the third President of the Union in its 25 years of existence. His candidacy was proposed by the Belgian Pro Basketball League.
Van den Spiegel, 38, was born on July 10, 1978 in Ghent, Belgium, and started down the road of basketball in the youth teams of Osiris Denderleeuw, then those of Okapi Aalst and debuted in the Belgian first division when he was 17. After an election in 1996 as Rookie of the year Van Den Spiegel moved to Sunair Oostende one year later. There he won two championship and two cups. Van den Spiegel was elected in 2001 as Belgian basketball player of the year and then signed a 3-year contract with Fortitudo Bologna in Italy. After one and a half season with Virtus Roma he chose CSKA Moscow as his next destination. With Moscow Van Den Spiegel won the Euroleague in both 2006 and 2008, plus three Russian titles and two cups. After two short stints with Prokom Trefl Sopot in Poland and Azovmash Mariupol in Ukraine, Tomas Van Den Spiegel later spent two seasons with Real Madrid. His next club was Olimpia Milano in Italy again before moving back to the Belgian League by the beginning of 2011 in Telenet Oostende.
He retired as player in July 2013 and has since then been advisor at Bakala International Sports Academy, advsisor in the field of business sport, member of the Players Commission of FIBA and analyst at Play Sports in Belgium.
Van den Spiegel will now serve as President of the Union of European Leagues of Basketball, a position previously held by the late Gianluigi Porelli (1991-1998) and by Eduardo Portela (1998-2016), who has been appointed Honorary President of the ULEB in an unanimous decision of the Assembly.
The Assembly also took note of the withdrawal of the Czech League, which voluntarily renounced to membership; now, the ULEB stands at 12 member Leagues. The Assembly of the Leagues also ratified ULEB as shareholder in Basketball Champions League SA.