|17 July 2011|
U20 Men Division B
|FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson following a game in Sarajevo with the Secretary General of the Basketball Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Harun Mahmutovic|
Youth basketball is in full swing at the moment, with the first Youth European Championships already ending and a series of others coming up every week.
The U20 European Championship Division B in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is played with 20 teams this year, had just kicked off when FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson visited the tournament.
He met with the Minister of Sports in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Salmir Kaplan to discuss the development of basketball in the country.
"While Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the smaller countries within FIBA Europe, they are really making an effort to support the growth of the sport" stated Rafnsson.
"They are continuously hosting youth tournaments, and the hospitality with which they treat their guests is outstanding.
"I am especially looking forward to seeing their team at the EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania. The excitement about this can really be felt here in Sarajevo."
The President was also able to follow some of the on court action after meeting with the Secretary General of the Basketball Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Harun Mahmutovic.
The game between the President's native Iceland, who made their return to Division B in the U20 age group this year after a long absence since 2006 and the hosts was a close encounter and was won by Bosnia and Herzegovina 82-78.
"Seeing the numbers of participating teams in our competitions rise again makes me happy, because it shows that slowly but surely the federations are recovering from the financial crisis and that we are on a good way." commented Rafnsson.
The President will be travelling to various other Youth European Championships this summer to meet with Federation representatives and local authorities in order to further push the development of Basketball in those countries.