EuroBasket 2017 draw, mascot, and new trophy introduced

EuroBasket 2017The draw for next year’s historic EuroBasket 2017 tournament has been made, with the 24 participating nations now aware of their groups for the competition. FIBA Europe made the draw at the Ciragan Palace on the shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The Draw Ceremony was also used to debut a new EuroBasket trophy and the official tournament mascot.

“Amongst those in attendance were FIBA President Horacio Muratore and FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. They were joined by a number of recognisable basketball alumni, including Finland’s Hanno Mottola, Mickey Berkowitz from Israel, Romania’s Gheorghe Muresan and Mirsad Turkcan from Turkey. All four were on stage to assist with the Draw.”

As mentioned, EuroBasket 2017 will introduce some historic firsts. This is the last tournament before the competition reverts to being held every four years. Also, next year’s event will be the first to be held in multiple countries by design. EuroBasket 2015 was held in multiple countries because of political problems in Ukraine, but 2017 will see the competition hosted by Israel, Finland, Romania, and Turkey.

Here is the draw for the Group Phase:

Group A: Poland, Greece, France, Finland, Iceland, Slovenia
Group B: Ukraine, Israel, Lithuania, Georgia, Italy, Germany
Group C: Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, Montenegro, Romania, Hungary
Group D: United Kingdom, Russia, Serbia, Latvia, Turkey, Belgium

“Group A and B will tip off action on Thursday 31 August with Group C and D starting a day later. The Group Phase will conclude on 7 September, at which stage the top four teams from each group will advance to Istanbul for the Final Phase. Action will conclude with the Final, to be played in Sinan Erdem Arena on 17 September.”

Another historic point of EuroBasket 2017 is that this is the 40th edition of the competition. To celebrate this, FIBA Europe announced a new EuroBasket Trophy. The governing body points out that the prize retains the iconic shape of the old trophy, but is lined by a gold band and features names of former champions for the first time.

At the Draw Ceremony, organizers also unveiled the official mascot called Sam Dunk. This is a boy who dreams of being a Basketball superstar so has a superhero-like alter ego.

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