FIBA Europe backs Special Olympics event as “Celebration of Basketball”

2016-11-11T19:26:22+00:00 2016-11-14T15:26:21+00:00.


11/Nov/16 19:26

Special Olympics announced that FIBA Europe is throwing its full support behind the 13th annual Special Olympics European Basketball Week

By Eurohoops team /

Special Olympics announced that FIBA Europe is throwing its full support behind the 13th annual Special Olympics European Basketball Week, which runs from November 26th to December 4th 2015.

Backed by FIBA Europe and Euroleague Basketball, the aim of Special Olympics European Basketball Week is to expand opportunities across Europe for adults and children with intellectual disabilities. 19,000 players – with and without intellectual disabilities – from 35 countries will take part in various basketball events over the course of the week. The focus of this year’s event is mini-basketball, half-court 3×3 competition, as well as Unified basketball, which joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team to promote social inclusion.

FIBA Europe and Euroleague Basketball’s ONE TEAM programme, along with 25 national basketball federations and 60 professional clubs across Europe, will support European Basketball Week. Euroleague Basketball is dedicating a total of 16 ONE TEAM WEEK matches of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague and 7Days EuroCup to Special Olympics on November 30th and December 1st & 2nd. European Basketball Week is part of Special Olympics’ on-going commitment to increase its number of basketball players in Europe to 70,000 by 2020. A second objective is to grow the numbers of female players over the coming four years.

Kamil Novak, FIBA Executive Director Europe, said European Basketball Week represented a true “celebration” of basketball. “I call it a celebration, because that is exactly what European Basketball Week is. It promotes basketball along the same values that we at FIBA Europe prescribe to: making basketball accessible to everybody, from every walk of life. It also excites me to see the Special Olympics community embracing 3×3 basketball, which is rapidly transforming the basketball landscape, taking our sport in an exciting new direction, by opening the basketball community to even more players.”

Jordi Bertomeu, President and CEO Euroleague Basketball, meanwhile, also added his support: “We are delighted to continue working with Special Olympics in spreading the message of integration through basketball in our One Team Week games. During this week Euroleague Basketball celebrates the ongoing social work that our teams are doing in their communities through our social programme; One Team. Special Olympics uses the power of sport to fight against exclusion and this is a message that we fully embrace.”

Supported by 2,900 coaches, basketball is one of the most popular sports in Special Olympics with 56,300 athletes currently registered as players in Europe Eurasia region. Outside of basketball, Special Olympics offers 30 others sports to almost half a million athletes across the Europe Eurasia region. Next March 2,600 athletes from 106 nations will compete at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria in what will be one of the biggest sports and humanitarian events of its kind in the world in 2017.