FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann at the FIBA Mid-Term Congress

Regensburg (heinnews) – The success of the Basketball Champions League’s inaugural season has FIBA thinking long-term about creating a worldwide club championship. That was the message the FIBA General Secretary Patrick Baumann gave to FIBA members at the body’s Mid-Term Congress in Hong Kong.

Baumann expressed FIBA’s satisfaction with the first season of the newest pan-European club competition, which saw Spanish side Iberostar Tenerife hoist the trophy as hosts of the first final four.

The Basketball Champions League had a turbulent buildup to its first season, which demanded a lot of attention and support in various aspects from FIBA. And Baumann confirmed to the congress that FIBA will remain behind the new club competition.

“FIBA will continue to back the Basketball Champions League. The Basketball Champions League is about protecting domestic leagues. It’s about protecting your national teams,” Baumann said.

“It’s a heavy investment for the FIBA family. I am very grateful for all the continents that support that we invest in Europe.”

FIBA thinking world club competition long term

Baumann said FIBA is considering investing in more continental club competitions, saying: “We think Asia-Pacific is the next step for a basketball championship.”

The FIBA leader also mentioned the existence of the Liga de las Americas and that it could be next as well.

And FIBA’s long term goal?

“A world club championship together with our friends from the NBA – in any case, the NBDL (NBA Development League),” Baumann said. “I think we have a lot of opportunities to make that a reality within the next couple of cycles.”

NBA is “our best asset”

Baumann also discussed FIBA’s relationship with the NBA, saying: “The NBA is one of our key partners. It’s not easy at times, but it’s key. And they are friends. I would like to make that very clear.”

He added: “Overall, the NBA is our best asset that we have in our family. It is the most powerful league that promotes basketball across the globe. There is no other league that does it so well as the NBA.”

Baumann said the continued relationship with the NBA also depends on FIBA working with the NBA team owners.

“You have to be sure that the owners are happy. And that’s the same as in all your countries for sure,” he told the FIBA members.

“We have to be sure that clubs are respected for what they invest into their efforts in athletes. We have to be considerate of the wear and tear of the athletes in our competition system.”

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