The next step to increasing the level of basketball in Germany was met Friday in Geneva as the FIBA Central Board awarded Germany and Hamburg the right to host the 2010 U17 World Championship for Men in July 2010.

The German bid for the first-ever U17 World Championship was chosen by the FIBA officials over bids from France, Kazakhstan and China, the latter of which pulled out their application on a friendship basis. France was awarded by the FIBA Central Board the right to host the first-ever U17 World Championship for Women.

The German Basketball Federation (DBB) president Ingo Weiss thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hamburg Mayor Ole von Beust and German Olympic Sports Federation President Thomas Bach. “They highly supported our bid and German basketball can rely on them in the future as well,” Weiss said on the DBB website.

German men’s national team boss Dirk Bauermann, who along with German super star Dirk Nowitzki threw their support behind the bid, was thrilled that Hamburg will host the event. “Being allowed to host the FIBA U17 World Championship is sensational and an important sign for basketball in Germany. We are looking forward to the world championship and look forward to an unforgettable basketball experience in Hamburg,” Bauermann said on the DBB site.

Taking into account the U17 World Championship in Hamburg along with the German BBL league – and the Euroleague and EuroCup – slowly gaining more exposure on German television, and this is a huge step to increasing the popularity of basketball in Germany.