ISTANBUL, Turkey (FIBA EuroBasket 2017)
The much-anticipated game of 2017, The FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Group Phase groups were confirmed during a draw ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey. The event also served to unveil the re designed Trophy and introduce Sam Dunk, the official mascot of the main European basketball championship.
The draw which took place at the iconic Ciragan Palace on the banks of the Bosphorus was attended by delegations of the teams that will compete in the first European basketball event of the year.
Among those present were FIBA President Horacio Muratore and FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. They were joined by several recognizable basketball alumni, including Finn Hanno Mottola, Mickey Berkowitz of Israel, Romanian Gheorghe Muresan and Mirsad Turkcan of Turkey. All four were on stage to help with the draw.
In addition to the four legends, a representative of each of the four national federations of host nations – including the newly elected president of the Turkish Basketball Federation, Hidayet Turkoglu – also stood on the stage alongside the president of FIBA Europe, Turgay Demirel, and the Sports Minister of Turkey, Akif Cagatay Kilic. It was a gathering of great personalities in basketball and politics.
The FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Group Phase groups are as follows:
Group A and Group B will end the action on Thursday, August 31 with Group C and D starting a day later. The group stage will conclude on 7 September, when the top four teams from each group will advance to Istanbul for the finals. The competition will end with the final, to be played at the Sinan Erdem Arena on 17 September.
The Tuesday Sweepstakes Ceremony also witnessed the inauguration of the new FIBA EuroBasket Trophy, making it the 40th edition of the competition. While maintaining the same recognizable shape, the third version of the trophy is lined with a gold band and also presents for the first time the names of all former champions.
Also making his first public appearance in the draw was the official mascot named “Sam Dunk”, a boy whose ambition of becoming a basketball superstar and has an alter ego, full of rocket boots which allow him to compete with the world’s greatest players at a high level despite his small stature.
Sam Dunk and the newly designed trophy will be touring throughout 2017 as part of a Trophy Tour in the 24 competing nations. The complete Trophy Tour calendar will be released later.