Debrecen selected to host Youth Basketball Champions League 2024
MIES (Switzerland) - The eagerly-anticipated second edition of the innovative Youth Basketball Champions League will be played in Debrecen, the host city of last summer's FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup.
The prime standalone pan-European club competition for U18 teams will tip off in Hungary's second-largest city on April 2 and the champions will be crowned on April 7.
The Youth Basketball Champions League expands this year to include 13 participating teams from nine different countries, compared with 10 teams in its inaugural edition.
The first-ever Youth BCL champions, Igokea m:tel (BIH), will return in 2024 to defend their title.
The rest of the field of contenders comprises AEK (GRE), Basketball Academy Nymburk (CZE), BK Opava (CZE), EWE Baskets Juniors (GER), Galatasaray (TUR), Hapoel Jerusalem (ISR), Lenovo Tenerife (ESP), Porsche BBA Ludwigsburg (GER), Promitheas Patras (GRE), Rytas Vilnius (LTU), Tofas Bursa (TUR) and Team Debrecen, which will represent the host city.
The competition will take place in Olah Gabor Sports Hall, which served as a venue not only for the recent U19 World Cup, but also for FIBA U17 Women's Basketball World Cup 2022.
BCL CEO Patrick Comninos and Hungarian Federation Secretary General Péter Bodnár posing with the Youth BCL trophy
"The inaugural edition of the Youth BCL, hosted magnificently by Tofas Bursa, set the bar very high for the future of the competition," commented Basketball Champions League CEO Patrick Comninos.
"The second edition will consolidate it as the spearhead of our continuous, meaningful endeavors to help nurture young European players, such as our Homegrown Players rule and our Best Young Player award.
"More importantly, the Youth BCL is great fun for both the players and our younger fans, who have engaged enthusiastically with the competition. Debrecen, which has emerged as a focal point of international youth basketball, is an ideal stage for this youthful, fun sport event," Mr. Comninos added.
"It is a great honor for the Hungarian basketball society that the BCL chose us to host another outstanding international basketball event in our country," stated Péter Bodnár, Secretary General of the Hungarian Basketball Federation.
"The Hungarian Basketball Federation has always been open for innovative initiatives, like the very first three-year Youth World Cup package between 2019 and 2022, where the city of Debrecen proved again that they can organize FIBA tournaments according to the highest standards.
"The Youth BCL will be an excellent opportunity for the participating players, and coaches to develop, as well as for the fans to directly experience the high level of basketball the best youth teams represent in Europe."
All Youth Basketball Champions League games will be livestreamed on the official BCL YouTube channel for viewers around the world, as was the case last year.
The 13 teams will be drawn into three groups of three teams each and one group of four. After three days of pool play, the four group winners will be paired in the Semi-Finals, with the two teams that prevail advancing to the big Final.
The teams that finished second in their respective groups will play classification games for 5th through 8th place in the tournament, while the third-placed teams and the one fourth-placed team will compete for the 9th through 13th spots overall.
The draw for the event will take place in Debrecen in early March.
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.