GREECE AND TURKEY

TWO COUNTRIES, ONE RICH SPORT BACKGROUND

General information

General information

Turkey and Greece - two countries, one rich basketball background 

As the top indoor sport worldwide, basketball is followed with great interest both in Turkey and Greece. Basketball is the second most popular sport after football in Turkey, while it occupies top place in Greece as the most successful team sport on both club and national team levels.

In 1936, their basketball paths would cross, where one of the first national team competitions was held in Istanbul. The Turkish National Team won this game with the extraordinary score of 49-12. Organized by the personal efforts of the Turkish players, who collected money among themselves to invite the Greek team, this match-up laid the foundation of two basketball traditions that would still play protagonist roles 75 years later.

The Turkish Men’s National Basketball Team reaches the finals in both the European Championships 2001 and FIBA World Championships 2010, while Turkish basketball clubs compete in European leagues with great success. Turkish basketball has been achieving significant developments in recent years with more than 200,000 licensed players and a remarkable fan base. Basketball arenas are constantly packed, with the Finals series of the 2010-2011 National League season being a true testament (87,000 tickets sold in total). 

European champions of 1987 and 2005, the Greek Men’s National Basketball Team celebrated their Finals participation of the FIBA World Championships in 1989 and 2006, as well as their bronze medal in the 2009 European Championships. At club level, Greek basketball teams were crowned champions 14 times in the European leagues, seven of which being in the Euroleague.