In 2016, FIBA Europe introduced a groundbreaking, regional youth basketball program and outsourced the basketball curriculum to The Basketball Embassy. Leaning heavily on TBE President Chris Dial’s wealth of international experience, the architects of this program came up with a very unique and innovative plan to not only develop an entire generation of basketball players, but improve relations across borders among the five participating countries. We are honored and humbled at the opportunity to play a leadership role in this special coordination of basketball and culture once again in 2017.
The program’s participants include a selection of 60 players and 12 coaches in four different countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Kosovo. Turkey is being featured as the “big brother,” providing assistance, support, and insight throughout the project, including coaching and leadership clinics as well as friendly competition opportunities for the four teams from the Balkan region. Supported by the FIBA Europe Youth Development Fund, this project ensures that young players learn team-building, engage in conflict resolution strategies, and develop a peer-to-peer camaraderie that cuts through borders, thus improving cross-country and cross-cultural relationships. FIBA Europe continues to be a leader in efforts to support its members both on and off the court and TBE is proud to participate in these initiatives by providing coaching, mentoring, instruction, and assessment throughout. This project in particular has served as a pilot, laying the groundwork for similar projects to be executed in other parts of Europe and beyond in the future.