Dalmatia to Host 1st World Cup of Basketball Veterans Next Year

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Luka Mladinić
Luka Mladinić

“We have been successfully organizing the Masters Handball World Cup for five years, so we decided to organize a competition of the same level in basketball, so from next year in Omiš and Split, in addition to handball veterans, basketball veterans will compete in the first World Cup,” said sporting event organizer Mario Čaljkušić, as reported by Dalmacija Danas.

A well-established team started organizing the International Camp of Handball Goalkeepers eleven years ago, and then the Masters Handball World Cup, bringing the biggest names in international handball to Omiš. There is no doubt that they will be equally successful when organizing the basketball tournament.

“The hardest part of the job was getting to know the whole organization and we can freely say that in the last few years it has been going routinely. Not only for us who are involved in the organization, but also for the people who take care of the hall, hotel accommodation, transport, as well as volunteers, sponsors, and city and county structures. It is already a well-established system, and when we decided to do basketball, we joked that we just need to change balls, a handball for a basketball, and replace goals with baskets, as everything else will be the same,” laughed Čaljkušić and added:

“Of course, we consulted and involved several basketball experts in the organization, but we will inform the public when the time comes.”

The World Cup of Basketball Veterans is scheduled for April 13-16 next year, and registrations have already been launched on the official website. Moreover, a dozen teams have already applied for competitions to be organized in three groups, “5 v 5”, “3 v 3” and “wheelchair basketball”, in three women’s (+35, +40, and +45) and four men’s (+35, +40, +45 and +50) categories.

Given that the organizers brought many big names from the world of handball, it would not be surprising that once-famous basketball players from Europe and even the NBA League come to the World Cup of basketball veterans. So far, the project has been supported by many famous names such as Nikola Vujčić, Aramis Naglić, Aleksandar Petrović, Krešimir Lončar, Mario Kasun, Bruno Šundov, and Teo Čizmić, and a roundtable on current basketball events was announced. Representatives of the Croatian Basketball Federation also announced their arrival.

“I support the initiative and look forward to participating in the roundtable if my commitments allow. Basketball has a lot of problems that need to be openly discussed and pointed out what we as professional people think is not good. Of course, I am looking forward to meeting again many famous people from the world of basketball that I have not seen for a long time,” said Aleksandar Petrović.

“Veteran sport is very popular all over the world, even among basketball players who may not be ready for professional sacrifices as they used to be, but still enjoy playing and socializing, which is why we all started training together a long time ago, as children. I am glad that this project has come to life in our country and I have no doubt that it will be successful,” said Nikola Vujčić.

The final of the World Cup is planned to take place at the basketball temple at Gripe, where the story of the great and powerful Jugoplastika, unofficially the best basketball club in Europe in the 20th century, won three consecutive European titles.

“Our club supports all basketball projects, so we will actively support the World Cup of basketball veterans. We are looking forward to opening the doors of our home to all who actively live basketball, regardless of the fact that they have long since retired, and we are considering putting together a team of our veterans to compete in the official competition,” said director of Split Basketball Club Edo Blažević.

The fifth edition of the Masters Handball World Cup, despite the problems created by the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine, gathered over 1,000 competitors and guests, so there is no doubt that the Veterans Basketball World Cup will yield similar, if not better results.

“I have to admit that I was a bit envious of handball players when I saw how many of them gather at veteran competitions and that I wondered why something similar is not organized for us, former basketball players. And here, it was as if I had summoned the organizers. I am glad that they started this project, and I am especially glad that my club will be actively involved in it,” said the sports director of Split and one of the players of the famous golden generation of Jugoplastika, Teo Čizmić.

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