Seven years removed from its only Euroleague appearance, Strasbourg Illkirch-Graffenstaden is back to compete against the very best clubs on the continent. Strasbourg came close to winning a pair of trophies last season, but came up short in the French Cup final against Gravelines-Dunkerque, and bowed out 3-1 to JSF Nanterre in the best-of-five French League finals. The club that has been alive for 85 years through thick and thin, and last season made big strides to contend for trophies in France, now looks to make another leap. SIG Basketball Strasbourg was founded before most European clubs, back in 1928. The team played mostly in the French first and second divisions for decades until it fell to the third division in 1977. Strasbourg bounced back by returning to the second division in 1985, but the team had to wait almost another decade, until 1994, to reach the French elite. In that season, Strasbourg made it all the way to the French Cup final and sealed its ticket to the 1995 Saporta Cup, its first-ever appearance in European competitions. Difficult times were back once Strasbourg fell to the second division in 1997, only to return to the top division before the start of the 1999-00 season with renewed ambitions. The team has been competitive ever since then, needing only five years to go from the second division to winning the French League in 2005. Strasbourg returned to the French Cup final in 1999 and reached the French League semifinals in 2000 and 2001. It was not until 2004-05, however, that the club's first title arrived. In the French League playoffs, Strasbourg knocked off Pau-Orthez and Adecco Asvel to reach the French League final. Strasbourg rose to the moment and became French League champion by beating Nancy 72-68 in Paris-Bercy before more than 13,000 fans. Strasbourg returned to the French League semifinals in 2005-06 and made its Euroleague debut, in which it won three games and came close in most others – losing six games each by 5 points or less – with Ricardo Green flaunting some nice numbers. The following season Chuck Eidson, Claude Marquis and Aerick Sanders led Strasbourg to the ULEB Cup quarterfinals. A year later club was back in the ULEB Cup, but finished fifth in its regular season group and lost in the first round of the French League playoffs. During the following five season, Strasbourg made only one more playoff appearance - in 2009 when it got eliminated by Asvel Basket once again – while facing several relegation battles, but managed to preserve its elite status. Last season the club was back to its winning ways led by Greer and Alexis Ajinca. Now looking to build on that, Strasbourg takes a shot at establishing its place among the elite of continental basketball.
French National League