Euroleague Basketball today announced an agreement to support the City of Belgrade Junior Tournament, one of the most distinguished events of its kind in Europe. The decision was announced along with tournament details on Friday at a press conference in Belgrade. This season's "Nike International Junior Classification Tournament Belgrade" will be held from March 28 to 30, 2008, and all participating teams represent either Euroleague clubs - Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul, Montepaschi Siena, Union Olimpija Ljubljana, Partizan Igokea Belgrade, Prokom Trefl Sopot and Lietuvos Rytas - or ULEB Cup teams - FMP, Red Star, KK Bosna, Benetton Basket Tamoil, BC Khimki Moscow Region and BC Hemofarm Stada. All players participating in this year's tournament were born in 1990 or later. The decision to help sponsor the "Nike International Junior Classification Tournament Belgrade" is part of an effort by Euroleague Basketball to create a qualifying process that ends with the annual Nike International Junior Tournament, which will enjoy its sixth edition at next spring's 2008 Final Four in Madrid. The first such qualifying event was the " L'Hospitalet Junior Tournament" in Spain earlier this month. As with the L'Hospitalet event, the winner and runner-up teams from Belgrade will receive invitations to the Nike International Junior Tournament.
Tijana Covic,"Nike International Junior Classification Tournament Belgrade" Director: "First of all, I would like to thank Euroleague Basketball for the confidence it has shown in collaborating with this tournament. We consider it an honour to have a partner like Euroleague Basketball in this initiative and it encourages us to reach our final goal, to create a tournament that will improve year after year and in several seasons will be considered one of the most traditional junior tournaments in Europe."
Davor Ristovic, FMP Team Manager: "We are very satisfied with the general level of the teams that will partiticpate in the tournament, I personally consider that we have joined 12 high-level teams and I encourage all public and media to watch and enjoy of all those future stars."
Vladimir Stankovic, Euroleague Basketball representative: "We are very proud of this collaboration, as this year we have started a program of cooperation with European junior tournaments with the aim of supporting junior basketball in Europe. One of the main reasons to come here to Belgrade is the history of FMP's junior program, thanks to the great job they are doing in developing an incredible number of talents season after season."