Everybody feels small sometimes; while standing below a cliff, looking up at a tall building, or simply by participating in an event with dozens of basketball legends. Anyone would feel small in the company of giants such as Miki Berkovich, Doron Jamchi, Boaz Yanai, Gur Shelef, and Omri Casspi, to name a few.
On a hot and humid evening at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv, these titans came together to mark an exciting occasion in the history of Israeli sports: the hosting of the 2017 Eurobasket Championship. The local basketball scene has been abuzz since it was revealed that Israel will be hosting an event of such magnitude for the very first time. Preparations were immediately put into high gear, but starting the celebrations off properly called for a prestigious gala event.
Alongside members of the Israeli basketball’s Hall of Fame, the event drew many dignitaries including Minister of Culture and Sports, Miri Regev; Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, Chairman of Israel’s Basketball Association, Amiram Halevy, and many others.
Before the dignitaries were invited to give their remarks, a formal introduction was made to the elected Eurobasket Ambassadors- ten basketball legends rarely found in the same room. The Ambassadors lined up for the event were Tal Brody, Boaz Yanai, Miki Berkovich, Doron Jamchi, Gur Shelef, Tal Burstein, and Shimon Amsalem. No basketball fan could contain their excitement at the sight of these great sportsmen, who volunteered to help spread the word about the upcoming tournament.
Minister Regev had an announcement to make about an expected reduction in ticket prices. Omri Casspi, our representative in the NBA, expressed how thrilled he was to play in this prestigious European competition in front of his home crowd. Adjacent to the stage stood another surprising honorary guest: the real, original Eurobasket Cup, which will be awarded to the continental champions after the final match in Turkey. Casspi, our captain, lingered near the cup. Will he get to hold it again come September?