2017 marks the 14th edition of one of Europe’s biggest basketball events, which aims to deliver unity through sport.
Unity Through Basketball
Backed by FIBA Europe and Euroleague Basketball, Special Olympics European Basketball Week is a celebration of the power of sport to unify and break down barriers!
Over seven days (November, 24th – December, 3rd) 19,000 plus athletes from 35 countries will take to basketball courts across Europe, creating a region-wide platform to promote the skills and talents of athletes with intellectual disabilities. Unified playing partners will also play a major role in all of the basketball action as the Play Unified message is spread all over Europe.
Building a Legacy on Basketball Courts!
In 2016, European Basketball Week (EBW) event ran from November 24th to December 3rd in cities across Europe. It was a huge success and saw 19,000 athletes compete in 230 sporting events with many great initiatives involving Special Olympics athletes. The plan is to make #EBW2017 even better!
The main focus of EBW2017 will be mini-basketball, half-court 3x3, and Unified basketball. Supported by almost 3,000 coaches, basketball is one of the most popular sports in Special Olympics Europe Eurasia region with more than to 58,000 registered players, both male and female.
2017 European Basketball Week Facts
- 19,000 athletes
- 35 Countries
- 250 Local and national basketball events (3x3, mini-basketball, Unified)
- 60 Professional Clubs
- 25 National Basketball Federations
- 20 Coaching Seminars
Goals for #EBW2017
European Basketball Week is part of Special Olympics' on-going commitment to increase the number of registered basketball players in Europe to 60,000. There will also be work done to create 600 additional volunteer coaches in 2017.
Together We Are Stronger!
FIBA in Europe, along with 25 national basketball federations, continue to give strong backing to #EBW2017 as well as supporting the Special Olympics message of inclusion. In 2017, Special Olympics will be visibly promoted at FIBA European qualifier matches throughout November and December.
Euroleague Basketball's ONE TEAM programme, together with 40 European clubs, will also show their commitment and support to #EBW2017 by dedicating a number of ONE TEAM WEEK matches to Special Olympics on 19-20 December.
FIBA Europe's General Secretary Kamil Novak, WNBA player and Special Olympics Global Ambassador Elena Delle Donne and Euroleague Basketball Legend and One Team Euroleague Ambassador Theo Papaloukas have all shown their support in the past.
Kamil Novak, Executive Director FIBA Europe believes in the power of inclusion through sport. “FIBA Europe is thrilled to support this year’s Special Olympics European Basketball Week once again! I see this event as a celebration of basketball in Europe, the accessibility of basketball for everyone and a demonstration of inclusion. These are the same values that FIBA prescribe to. It also excites me to see the commitment of the Special Olympics community to embrace mini-basketball and 3x3 basketball, which is rapidly transforming the basketball landscape, by opening the basketball community to even more players.”
Jordi Bertomeu, President and CEO Euroleague Basketball, says his organization is proud to support and play Unified with Special Olympics athletes all over Europe. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Special Olympics in spreading the message of integration through basketball with our One Team Week games involving all our 40 teams. At Euroleague Basketball, we celebrate 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 empower inclusion in communities and this is a message that we fully embrace. Together, we are making an important and positive change in the lives of many.”