Two years after its successful candidacy for EuroBasket 2013 and almost a year before the start of the Championships, Slovenia is making the final preparations for the largest European basketball event, which will take place between 4th and 22nd September 2013. This is not merely the largest sports event in the history of Slovenia, but also an opportunity for Slovenia, Ljubljana and other host towns to show their best to the European basketball elite and their fans.
The largest sports event in independent Slovenia will be the first large international basketball championship in Slovenia after the 1970 World Basketball Championships (which, in fact, took place in former Yugoslavia), when the Yugoslav basketball team headed by Slovenian Ivo Daneu as team captain became the best team in the world for the first time at Hala Tivoli in Ljubljana.
Slovenia is also the smallest country in the history of the event to host the European Basketball Championships and the first country selected unanimously to be the organiser of the event − FIBA Europe awarded Slovenia with the organisation of EuroBasket 2013 on 5 December 2010 at the meeting of the Executive Committee of FIBA Europe in Munich.
The European Basketball Championships, which will take place between 4th and 22nd September 2013 in Slovenia, is less than a year away and all participating national teams are already known. There will be 23 teams playing in the Championships along with Slovenia. The groups will be set by draw, which will take place on 18 November 2012 at the Postojna Cave. In other words, the draw will be made beneath the ground for the first time in the history of sporting events. It will then also become clear in which town a particular national team will play.
Slovenia will be joined in the Championships by teams from France, Great Britain, Greece, Lithuania, Macedonia, Russia, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Turkey, Ukraine, Serbia, Sweden, Israel and Belgium. The Championship title will be defended by Spain, which won the European Championships twice in a row (Poland 2009, Lithuania 2011).
Eight teams qualified directly (Spain, France, Russia, Macedonia, Greece and Lithuania as the first six ranked at the last European Championships, Slovenia as the host and Great Britain as the organiser of the 2012 Olympic Games). Other teams came through qualifications, in which 31 teams took part. In the final round of the qualifications, a place at the Championships was also won by Serbia (hence, for the second time in the history of the Championships, all 6 national teams of former Yugoslav countries qualified; the first time was at EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania), Sweden, Latvia, Belgium and Turkey. EuroBasket 2013 will also serve as a qualifying sieve for the 2014 World Championships in Spain. In addition to Spain, the first six teams at EuroBasket 2013 will also play at the World Championships (if one of those is Spain, then a 7th team will also qualify).
Slovenia or, rather, the Slovenian Basketball Federation has already proven that it is ready for the start of the European Championships, receiving commendations for the organisation of the U20 European Championships for men in July.
See the calendar of matches and events at the EuroBasket2013 official website.