FIBA President Carl Men Ky Ching announced the launch of a new invitational tournament, which includes some of the best basketball teams in the world.
Organized by the International Basketball Federation, the Cup will feature Olympic Gold Medalist Argentina, Asian Champions China, European Champions Lithuania, Oceania Champions Australia, African Champions Angola and the Americas 1st runner-up Puerto Rico.
"The Beijing Capital Stadium will house the highest basketball level ever played in the Chinese basketball history," stated Mr. Ching at the press conference.
"I want to thank the Ministry of Sports, especially the Chinese Basketball Association, and the Beijing City Government for their full support and for hosting this Championship."
The event is named "Stankovic Continental Champions Cup" in honor of Mr. Borislav Stankovic for his lifetime pursuit of basketball. He has been FIBA Secretary General for over 26 years and in his term of office, the distinction between amateurs and professionals had been lifted allowing the world's best basketball players to participate in Olympic Games and FIBA World Championships.
"Basketball would not be what it is today without him", stated FIBA Secretary General Mr. Patrick Baumann. "The game now belongs to the top sports in the world, popular, spectacular and truly global. We look forward to the action, which will commence on July 25th in the Olympic city of 2008 – just one year ahead of the 2006 FIBA World Championship, which will be hosted in Japan."
The hosting country of the event, the People's Republic of China, has over 250 million basketball participants making it the country with the highest number of participants in the world.
"It is still 3 years to go, but people in this wonderful country can get a first taste, of what they can expect at the Olympic Basketball tournament in 2008", said Mr. Borislav Stankovic. "Global basketball excellence with some of the best teams around the world will be at display."
(FIBA.com July 25, 2005)