Ljubljana – Slovenia has climbed to the top of the FIBA Europe combined ranking for 2021, which takes into account showings by both the men’s and boys’ basketball squads, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced. This summer has been the best on record for Slovenia’s basketball with Slovenian players of both genders pushing frontiers.
The Slovenian men’s team built on its EuroBasket 2017 title by finishing fourth at the Olympic Basketball Tournament in Tokyo and the Slovenian women’s squad made it to the EuroBasket 2021 in France where they placed tenth in the end after being knocked out of the competition in the knockout stage.
What’s more, Slovenia bagged three medals at European youth championships, clear signs that the country’s basketball future is looking bright: the Slovenian men’s under-20 team won gold, under-18 boys silver and under-16 girls bronze.
This also marks the first time the female and male U-16 teams qualified for the FIBA world cups. Next year only three European teams will participate in these youth world championships – Slovenia and basketball superpowers France and Spain.
All three male youth teams and U-16 girls competed in division A, whereas girls under-18 played in division B, which they won. Boys in the U-16 category were just shy of a medal, placing fourth.
“All of us who are active in basketball can be happy and proud of these achievements. It is incredible that Slovenia is again the best in Europe following 2017, but this time around not just on the back of its men’s national team but based on combined results in all four age categories at the level of all male teams,” said Mirko Jurjavčič, the head coach of youth teams at the Slovenian Basketball Association (KZS).