The basketball stars of the future can be seen in Debrecen


In 2023, Bursa, Turkey hosted the International Basketball Federation’s latest initiative, the Youth Basketball Champions League. Debrecen can host the first competition: between April 2 and 7, 2024, thirteen U18 teams – including Team Debrecen – will fight for the final victory in the Oláh Gábor Street Sports Complex.

The organizing committee invited the media representatives to the grandstand building of the Oláh Gábor Street athletics stadium on the morning of Wednesday, March 27, 2024, when the official press conference of the Youth Basketball Champions League was held. After last year’s highly successful trial version, the tournament will officially debut in Debrecen in 2024, and its purpose is clearly to serve as a kind of “hallway” for young stars who are about to start a professional career.

Among the guests of honor at the press event, Diána Széles, deputy mayor of Debrecen, was the first to pick up the microphone, as she praised the work of the local organizing committee, emphasized the local people’s love of sports, and described the upcoming tournament as a significant opportunity for the basketball students of Cívisváros.

It is always a pleasure to report on a basketball event in Debrecen, which there is no shortage of in our city, as this will be our thirty-second international event since 2008. Once again, I would like to highlight the work of the organizing committee led by István Becsky, since without them these contests would not be possible. Debrecen is one of the most sporty cities in the country, the people living here are interested and enthusiastic about sports and competition, which is why the cooperation with the International Basketball Association can work so smoothly. A lot of young people play this beautiful sport in Debrecen, and for those who are looking for help from the DEAC Basketball Academy, it can mean a lot to see the European elite up close

– said Diána Széles.

Patrick Comninos, the manager of the Champions League tournament series, was unable to attend the press conference in person, but he sent a message to those present from Geneva, the House of Basketball:

Debrecen has advanced to become the capital of youth basketball in recent years, all the conditions are there to hold high-quality tournaments. Special thanks to Mayor László Papp for his hospitality, and on behalf of the National Association of Hungarian Basketball Players, President Márton Báder and Secretary General Péter Bodnár for their work in bringing the event under the roof. After last year’s “trial version” held in Bursa, I expect high-quality fights again – I think it is extremely important that emerging talents can show their skills in an environment similar to what awaits them soon on the big stage of adult basketball

– he said.

István Becsky, the chairman of the organizing committee, said that world-class is expected not only in terms of the players on the floor because until now, unusually, fellow athletes from among the American and European elite referees also come.

In the three summers behind us, we were able to organize age-group basketball world championships one by one, and after the end of the cycle, we immediately started thinking about the continuation. It gives me great pleasure that we can host the first official youth Champions League. The high standard is guaranteed not only by the participating teams but also by the referees who, since whistle masters come from the associations of the North American Professional Basketball League (NBA) and the International Basketball Association (FIBA). Next year, these two organizations will start joint referee training, so the tournament in Cívisváros is also a milestone from this point of view. I am confident that we will prove to be a good host again, which will earn us the fact that FIBA will count on us in the future

– István Becsky said.

Ákos Pethő, the national coach of the U18 national team and Team Debrecen, stated that he would like to surprise the powerful group opponents with his team.

I consider it a great honor to be able to participate in such a high-level event, and it fills me with pride that the colors of DEAC will be represented among the players in the person of Ferenc Varga. This time, the name Team Debrecen will cover the U18 national team, but the situation is somewhat special since the team is made up of basketball players interested in hunting for domestic points. At the same time, I feel that we have enough playing power, and we will try to make it difficult for our group opponents. Of course, this will not be easy; Rytas Vilnius is a real European giant, while Lenovo Tenerife is Spanish and Promitheas Patras pulls the “mustache” of the traditional elite Greek clubs. Our goal is to reach the top division, we want to compete for the most prestigious positions as long as possible.

The DEAC Basketball Academy will be represented by Ferenc Varga, alongside trainer Ákos Pethő, who assured those present of brave, full-hearted basketball, no matter who his team faces.

I consider this tournament to be an excellent opportunity, as it is not every day that we can fight with the best of the continent. I think that our team is sufficiently used to it, we have already participated in several meetings together, and we play against each other every week in the U18 championship. Although we want to be in the upper house, I cannot promise specifics regarding our final position, but I guarantee that we will leave what we have on the floor, no matter who we face

– the player promises.

Those interested can view a total of twenty-eight meetings. Tickets for the group matches cost HUF 1,000, for the cross-match days, HUF 1,500, and for the qualifiers and the final, HUF 2,000. Online ticket sales have already started, you can redeem your advance tickets via the website of the Debrecen Sportcentrum. On-site ticket offices open at 10 a.m. on match days. In both cases, it is only possible to pay by bank card.


Youth BL groups:


Group A: Team Debrecen, Rytas Vilnius (Lithuanian), Lenovo Tenerife (Spanish), Promitheasz Patrasz (Greek)

Group B: Igokea m:tel (Bosnia), Basketball Academy Nymburk (Czech Republic), AEK (Greece)

Group C: Tofas Bursa (Turkey), Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg (Germany), BK Opava (Czech Republic)

Group D: Oldenburg (Germany), Galatasaray (Turkey), Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)


FIBA Organizes the Youth Champions League in Debrecen This Year


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