New year, new horizons as BCL launches forward-looking Youth Basketball Champions League
MIES (Switzerland) - The BCL announced on Monday the creation of another project that instigates innovation in the club basketball landscape with the launch of the Youth Basketball Champions League, a prime standalone pan-European competition for U18 teams.
The youth teams of ten BCL clubs representing eight different countries will compete in a league format for the title, in a competition with its own unique identity that adds a youthful twist to the established BCL brand.
Turkish club Tofas SC will play host to the inaugural edition of the Youth Basketball Champions League in two venues in the city of Bursa, and the first-ever champions will be crowned on Saturday, April 15 in the Tofas Nilüfer Spor arena.
Bnei Ofek Dist Herzliya (ISR), ERA Nymburk (CZE), Filou Oostende (BEL), Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem (ISR), Igokea m:tel (BIH), Lenovo Tenerife (ESP), MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg (GER) , Rytas Vilnius (LTU), UCAM Murcia (ESP) and of course Tofas Bursa are the ten youth teams that will battle it out for the crown.
"The Youth Basketball Champions League is a fresh and exciting project that will satisfy a need expressed by multiple BCL clubs. It is also the logical evolutionary step in our continued endeavor to help nurture young European players and provide them with optimal conditions in order to deliver at a high level," remarked Basketball Champions League CEO Patrick Comninos.
"The BCL has after all a proven track record of earnest, meaningful efforts in that direction, with the Homegrown Players rule - which makes it obligatory for BCL clubs to have at least five homegrown players on their roster, namely players that have grown sportively in that environment - as a cornerstone of our regulations. Furthermore, our Best Young Player award has shined the spotlight on talented players that went on to become NBA players and national team stars," Mr. Comninos added.
The Youth Basketball Champions League draw will take place in February, when the ten teams will be drawn into two groups of five teams each with the competition tipping off on April 11.
After three days of group play action, the top two teams in each group will be paired in the Semi-Finals, while teams placed third and fourth in their respective groups will play in classification games for places 5 to 8 in the championship and the fifth-ranked teams in each group will face each other for the 9th spot.
The first edition of the championship will come to a close on April 15 with the big Final and the concluding classification games.
About Basketball Champions League
The Basketball Champions League is an innovative joint partnership between FIBAClubCo and 11 top European leagues. It is a fair competition based on sporting principles with teams qualifying through national leagues.