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EuroBasket 2013 officially open!

The largest sports event in the history of independent Slovenia, the European Basketball Championship, has begun! Slovenia and, especially, its host towns - Ljubljana, Koper, Jesenice and Celje, with EuroBasket 2013, will step into the light of the entire European and wider basketball public from 4 to 22 September 2013. However, the Championship does not only offer top-level sports experience, but also other accompanying events in all towns.

With Ljubljana`s castle illuminated by fireworks, and expectant crowds gathered in the city`s Kongresni Square, EuroBasket 2013 was officially launched on Tuesday evening, September 3, to signal the start of a 19-day jamboree in the picturesque Balkan nation.
With representatives of all 24 participating countries, as well as leading figures in European basketball, media and officials from the four host cities of Koper, Jesenice, Celje and the Slovene capital itself, a lavish ceremony, and a concert, showcased the host nation which has spent the past three years preparing for the arrival of this tournament.

"It is going to be a party," promised the master of ceremonies. A wild one, one might expect, in a country whose fans have earned plaudits for their passion when they have travelled to past championships. Basketball matters was the message. So much work has gone in to organising what will be the first-ever EuroBasket in Slovenia.

Throughout the preparations for EuroBasket 2013, the main Slovenian tourist attractions have also been integrated into the activities. The draw of the groups for the first part of EuroBasket 2013 took place in a unique way – in the underground world of the Postojna Cave; moreover, within the framework of the promotional activities, another unique event took place at the end of August – namely, a basketball game on the Slovenian sea in Koper Bay. This was the first basketball game in Slovenia that took place on the sea – 300 metres away from the coast on a raft, 40 metres long and 20 metres wide, 3 metres above the surface, weighing an incredible 1,500 tons.
However, we have to mention another event surrounding the Championship. On 19 August, Ivo Daneu, the top Slovenian basketball player of all times with the most trophies, sportsman of the year 1967 in Yugoslavia and member of the FIBA Hall of Fame, who lead the Yugoslavian basketball team to win the 1970 World Basketball Championship, received the highest national recognition from the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, the Golden Order for Services – for the encouragement of the younger generation of basketball players and other athletes and the recognition of Slovenia in the world of sports.

Following are some links that might be useful during the Basketball Championship:

- Ljubljana, as the central host of the event (games in Ljubljana will take place throughout the Championship, including the first part of the event and during the finals) has prepared a special tourist guide for Ljubljana and EuroBasket 2013, which incorporates a comprehensive review of the events in Ljubljana (including the presentation of locations and the schedule of games in other towns) during the Championship – sports events and other accompanying events; moreover, the guide also includes the most important tourist and other useful information. It is available in eight languages: German, Italian, English, Russian, French, Croatian, Serbian and Spanish. You can browse the guide through at this link.

- Presentations of the host towns of EuroBasket 2013 can be seen at this link.

- Read the new September issue of the digital interactive EuroBasket 2013 magazine, here.

- See the photo exhibition of the World Championship in 1970 entitled `You got the Moon, we got the Gold` featuring many interesting photographs and attractive stories – the exhibition will be on view until the end of EuroBasket 2013 in the Museum of Modern History in Tivoli in Ljubljana.

- Check the schedule of the games at this link.

- See the official video of the EuroBasket 2013 anthem performed by one of the most acknowledged Slovenian songwriters, Zoran Predin, and the young Slovenian group CoverLover (available here).

- All updated news about the Championship can be read at the official EuroBasket 2013 website.


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