Today Manchester played host to the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Trophy Tour at the National Basketball Performance Centre.
The trophy is on a tour of 24 countries all of which will be represented at the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 tournament, which takes place from 31 August to 17 September in Finland, Israel, Romania and Turkey.
Young players from St Peter’s RC High School, who competed in the Manchester junior NBA Basketball England League along with St Cuthbert’s Primary School were selected to attend the celebratory tour event and were able to hold the new Semashko Trophy, meet international basketball player Kaiyem Cleary and have their photograph with the official FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Sam Dunk.
Dennis Moran, Year 5 Teacher from St Cuthbert’s Primary School said “We had the most amazing morning here at the EuroBasket Trophy Tour event, the children have loved it and without doubt it has inspired them to go back and pick up the basketball and play the game.”
Russ Lidstone, Board Member, Basketball England, said: “Today has been a true celebration of basketball at all levels. It’s fantastic to team up with FIBA EuroBasket 2017 to not only promote their event but to inspire young players along the way.
“It is very fitting that we should welcome the trophy here in Manchester, the home of our National Performance Centre and in the coming weeks and months the city will see more access to basketball than ever before.”
The UK leg of the trophy tour takes in Glasgow, Manchester, and Cardiff before making an appearance at the BBL and WBBL PlayOff finals at the O2 Arena in London on Sunday 14 May.
EuroBasket 2017 will see four groups staged in Turkey, Finland, Romania and Israel, with the knockout phases starting on 31 August taking place in Istanbul’s Sinan Erdem Dome and culminating in the FIBA EuroBasket Final on 17 September.
Great Britain, led by experienced NBA coach Joe Prunty, will feature in Group D which is being staged in Istanbul. Co-host Turkey, 2016 Olympic silver medallists Serbia, 2011 bronze medallists Russia, Latvia and Belgium provide the opposition, with the Belgians up first for GB on Friday 1 September.