Quality Basketball on Display at European Tourney

The bar was raised at the European Basketball tournament with divisions observed for the first time ever by external expert against the Swiss Ladder system.

Istanbul 2013

Look at the results table for the finals of the Special Olympics European Basketball Tournament – Istanbul 2013.

Congratulations to Belgium, Poland, Russia and Serbia who topped their divisions at the 2013 Special Olympics European Basketball tournament which concluded in Istanbul, Turkey on June 23rd.

From June 20th to 22nd 15 teams battled it out at Yakacik Sports Complex. Each team played five short observation matches which were for the first time ever at European level, observed by GOC and external experts against the Swiss Ladder System. As a result four division groups were created and teams continued the tournament in their ability level groups.

After two or three strongly competitive matches within their ability groups, the winners of the four divisions were decided: Belgium, Poland, Russian and Serbia.

"This Istanbul tournament has brought Special Olympics basketball competitions to a new level of professionalism in Europe. It's great to see, that all teams have coaches with basketball experience and also understand the spirit of Special Olympics. This helps to run a successful tournament, where we can enjoy the beauty of basketball at all levels. The atmosphere was fantastic and there were lots of inspiring moments on the court" said Micheal Newton, SOEE Basketball Advisor and Technical Delegate.

Off the court each athlete received a free health screening at the Healthy Athletes Program offered at Yakacik stadium.

The European Basketball tournament took place alongside the Special Olympics European Unified Volleyball Tournament in Istanbul and so brought hundreds of Special Olympics athletes, team mates, coaches and fans together to the city.

Players from top GalatasaraySK VIP Basketball and Volleyball club, including national Turkey team basketball stars Goksenin Kösal and Sertaç Şanil, attended and supported the opening ceremony of the 2013 Special Olympics Unified Volleyball and Traditional Basketball Tournament in Istanbul.