By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
The German basketball federation will use the opening day of the Eurobasket to retire Dirk Nowitzki’s No. 14 national team jersey.
The ceremony will happen before the Germany-France game on the 1st of September in Cologne.
It’s the first time ever that a national federation retires a jersey, something that couldn’t be done with the old FIBA rules. The numbers of jerseys permitted in the past were just 12 in the past, No. 4 through No. 15.
“I felt honored above all when this idea was presented to me by the German federation,” Nowitzki said in a statement. “It was a nice surprise and I’m already excited about what awaits me in Cologne. As an ambassador of FIBA EuroBasket, I’m looking forward to exciting games with great teams and hope that the fans in Cologne and Berlin will ensure full arenas and a great atmosphere.”
The Dallas Mavericks retired Nowitzki’s No. 41 in January, however for years he was also the leader of the German national team, winning the bronze medal in the 2000 FIBA World Cup and silver in the 2005 Eurobasket. He was also the German flag bearer in the 2008 Beijing Olympics
“If anyone deserves it, it’s Dirk,” said German federation president Ingo Weiss. “He has always been willing to play for Germany, putting in incredible performances in 153 international games for the men.”