ST.CATHARINES, ON (April 12, 2017) – Wednesday, was a huge day for the city of St.Catharines. Canada Basketball in partnership with the Niagara Sports Commission announced the international event taking place in the Meridian Centre. The championship is to take place from June 11th-17th 2018.
“Hosting the official FIBA 2018 event is one of our strategic pillars for growth. As Canada Basketball, we have three primary goals. The first, is to grow our participation to rival soccer and hockey; second, to get to the podium and thirdly, capturing the hearts and minds of Canadians. I’m from here and I know it’s a great basketball community. It’s an incredible opportunity for the friendly people of the Niagara Region and Canadians in general to be able to host the Americas and demonstrate that we are a world class country that is in love with basketball,” said Michele O’Keefe, President & CEO, Canada Basketball.
“FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, is the world governing body for basketball. Founded by eight nations in 1932, there are now 213 National Basketball Federations from all over the world. The championship is played over a five-day period of intense competition, taking place in a fun and friendly atmosphere open to the entire community. The FIBA Americas U18 Men’s Championship is the first step in the coming of age of global superstars such as Andrew Wiggins, Cory Joseph, Kyrie Irvine, Kemba Walker, Tyler Ennis and others.” added O’Keefe.
The tournament sees the top eight teams from the FIBA Americas zone vying for a top-three finish to qualify for the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.
“This is an important time and event here for the Niagara Region because, it gives the youth who are engaged in basketball or want to learn an understanding of the level of basketball in the world. You look at the success of the Toronto Raptors and Canada in the NBA, as well as the Niagara River Lions (NBLC), and Brock University basketball which creates an atmosphere and opportunity for kids to see so much more and strengthen the club programs in Niagara in addition to the coaching and officiating; as well as our position as one of the top basketball communities in the country, “ said Walter Sendzik, Mayor of St. Catharines.
Canada’s youth men are currently ranked 3rd in the world and 2nd in the Americas. Athletes born January 1, 2000 or later will be eligible to participate in 2018 FIBA U18 Americas.
Written by Serene El-Kogali
Photo Courtesy Wikipedia
Edited by Drew Ebanks