A Look Back at Basketball without Borders Slovenia

Day 4 (Aug. 11, 2011) – Basketball without Borders Europe 2011 came to a close on Thursday in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Campers gathered on the court at Tivoli Hall this morning to play their last 3-on-3 games and prepare for the afternoon’s All-Star Game presented by Nike. A group of girls from the US Embassy then arrived for a basketball clinic led by the NBA coaches and coaches from the Basketball Federation of Slovenia. The clinic featured scrimmages and skills stations that focused on basketball fundamentals including dribbling, passing and shooting, followed by a special meet and greet and autograph session with NBA legends Rasho Nesterovic, Bostjan Nachbar, Bruno Sundov, Predrag Drobnjak, and Zarko Paspalj.

Day 3 (Aug. 10, 2011) – Day three of Basketball without Borders Europe 2011 tipped off on Wednesday in lovely Ljubljana, Slovenia. The 50 campers gathered at Tivoli Hall for the morning Life Skills session which focused on work ethic, health issues, and decision-making.

Legend Bruno Sundov and Sixers Assistant Coach Michael Curry discussed the off-the-court challenges that campers should be prepared for, which they illustrated through personal anecdotes. Sundov shared a few words of wisdom, telling the campers, “Keep yourself in a safe environment, stay around people you know, and think about the decisions that you make."

Day 2 (Aug. 9, 2011) -- Basketball without Borders Europe 2011 continued today in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The 50 campers gathered at Tivoli Hall for the morning Life Skills session which focused on fair play, tolerance, and the values that sport can demonstrate.

With guidance from SPOLINT Institute for Sport Development, NBA Legends and former Bulls teammates Dragan Tarlac and Dalibor Bagaric introduced the session and discussed how the lessons learned through the game of basketball extend far beyond the court. In Tarlac’s words, "Sports make you a better person, sports make you stronger."

Day 1 (Aug. 8, 2011) -- Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe 2011 tipped off today in Ljubljana, Slovenia, bringing together NBA legends, coaches, and 50 of the top youth basketball players from more than 25 countries across Europe. This marks the first BWB camp to be held in one of the former Yugoslav republics and celebrates the program’s 10th anniversary.

The 2001 inaugural camp, held in Treviso, Italy, featured 50 campers from former Yugoslav republics. The 2011 BWB Europe camp is reuniting many of the original NBA players who coached during the inaugural camp, including Vlade Divac (Serbia), Rasho Nesterovic (Slovenia), Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia), Bruno Sundov (Croatia), and Dragan Tarlac (Serbia).

The campers began their first morning with a Life Skills session at Tivoli Hall, where they received an overview of the camp and its goals. The campers then asked questions, ranging from what NBA players do in the offseason to how they can make it to the NBA. Former NBA Coach Jay Triano helped lead the discussion and advised the group that self-motivation is key and emphasized the importance of watching what you eat and taking care of your body.

BWB Europe 2011 marks the first camp held in one of the former Yugoslav republics,
the home of the the 50 campers who attended the inaugural BWB camp.

A Decade Later, BWB Europe Pays Homage to Original Camp

First held in 2001, Basketball without Borders (BWB) is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program that uses the sport to create positive social change in the areas of education and health and wellness.

Vlade Divac, who saw his former country dissolve before his eyes, played a key role in building Basketball without Borders. He's one of many players from the first-ever BWB camp making their return to the program in Slovenia.
A highlight of the 2011 camp schedule is Basketball without Borders Europe, which will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Aug. 8-11. This marks the first camp held in one of the former Yugoslav republics, which was where the 50 campers who attended the inaugural BWB camp hailed from. Additionally, many of the original NBA player coaches will return this year, including NBA Legend Vlade Divac (Serbia), who was instrumental in the creation of the BWB program. Other legends attending the camp include native heros Rasho Nesterovic and Bostjan Nachbar (Slovenia), Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia), Zarko Cabarkapa (Serbia), Predrag Drobnjak (Montenegro); Zarko Paspalj (Serbia); Dino Radja (Serbia), Bruno Sundov (Croatia); Dragan Tarlac (Serbia) and NBA draftee Milos Vujanic.

“After witnessing the devastating effects of the Yugslav wars, I felt it was important to bring together our young people in a positive way through the unifying nature of sports, which was the genesis of Basketball without Borders,” said Divac. “Basketball was always a source of pride in the former Yugoslavia, and I thought it would be a great vehicle through which to teach tolerance and mutual respect after a period of such division and conflict. I am amazed at how the program has grown over the last decade and couldn't be prouder to participate in this special anniversary celebration.”

“Basketball without Borders has seen amazing success over the last decade thanks to the tremendous efforts of FIBA, our marketing and community partners, and the many members of the NBA Family who have joined us along the way,” said Kathleen Behrens, NBA Executive Vice President, Social Responsibility and Player Programs. “This program embodies the NBA’s commitment to growing the game of basketball globally while also using our sport to address critical social issues in communities around the world.”

BWB Europe will feature the top 50 youth players from over 25 European countries born after 1994, as selected by the NBA and FIBA, training under NBA legends and coaches. Campers receive top-level instruction on-court and participate in daily life-skills seminars focused on values of the game such as leadership, character development, and living a healthy lifestyle. Through NBA Cares, the NBA legends and coaches also participate in extensive community outreach efforts highlighted by the creation of places for children and families to live, learn or play including new technology centers, libraries and basketball courts.

“It is a great privilege to mark a decade of working together with the NBA on the Basketball without Borders initiative,” said Patrick Baumann, FIBA Secretary General and member of the International Olympic Committee. “10 years is a strong testament to the impact of the program, the quality of instruction and guidance provided both on and off the court. Since 2001, it has been our goal to provide young people all around the world with the opportunity and the tools to improve and showcase their basketball skills by learning from some of the best players and coaches around. We have also enabled them to have a positive effect on their communities by becoming role models.”

BWB Europe Legends and CoachesLjubljana, Slovenia | August 8 – 11, 2011
Dalibor BagaricCroatiaMichael CurryPhiladelphia 76ers
Zarko CabarkapaMontenegroJack SikmaHouston Rockets
Vlade DivacSerbiaJay TrianoNBA Coach
Predrag DrobnjakMontenegroJoe WolfMilwaukee Bucks
Bostjan NachbarSloveniaAaron Nelson***Phoenix Suns
Rasho NesterovicSloveniaMarin Sedlacek**FIBA Coach (Serbia)
Zarko PaspaljSerbia

Dino RadjaCroatia

Bruno SundovSerbia

Dragan TarlacCroatia

Milos VujanicSerbia** Camp Director*** Camp Trainer

Top Young Slovenian Basketball Players Selected for BWB Europe

LONDON AND LJUBLJANA – July 19, 2011 – A selection of top young Slovenian basketball talent have been named to participate in Basketball without Borders Europe (BWB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Basketball Federation of Slovenia announced today. The European edition of the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, for the first time, from Aug 8-11.

The players (ages 18 and under) from 25 countries across Europe were selected by FIBA, the NBA and participating federations based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities and dedication to the sport. Four players from Slovenia will take part in the 2011 edition.

Basketball without Borders, celebrating its’ 10th anniversary this year, will feature NBA legends and coaches as mentors for the four-day camp. Many of the original NBA player coaches who participated in the inaugural BWB Europe in 2001 will return this year, including NBA Legend Vlade Divac (Serbia), who was instrumental in the creation of the BWB program. Other legends attending the camp include native hero Rasho Nesterovic (Slovenia), Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia), Zarko Cabarkapa (Serbia), Bruno Sundov (Croatia), Zan Tabak (Croatia) and Dragan Tarlac (Serbia).

For the duration of the event, campers will work on improving their basketball skills through drills, scrimmages, and competitions with top instruction from NBA legends and coaches. Players will be divided into teams regardless of their nationality to help promote friendship and diversity. The campers will also participate in daily life skills sessions, in partnership with UNICEF, in which the NBA legends will speak about the importance of education, leadership, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

In addition through NBA Cares, the league’s social responsibility initiative, the NBA legends and coaches will also participate in extensive community outreach efforts with more details to be announced.

The inaugural Basketball without Borders Europe camps took place in Treviso, Italy, (from 2001-05), with the event also visiting Vilnius, Lithuania (2006); Paris, France (2007); Istanbul, Turkey (2008) and Barcelona, Spain.

Bosnia & Herzegovina Adin Vrabac Montenegro Milos Pajovic
Bulgaria Dejan Karamfilov Montenegro Nenad Vukovic
Croatia Jakova Mustapica Netherlands Shane Hammink
Croatia Filip Bundovic Poland Daniel Szymkiewicz
Czech Republic Jan Svandrlik Poland Kasper Borowski
England Dale Frencis Romania Vlad Popovici
England Joshna Ward Russia Mikhail Kulagin
Finland Iikka Maki Russia Georgy Egorov
France Boris Dallo Russia Stanislav Ilnitsky
France Alexandre Chassang Serbia Vasilije Micic
France Mouhammadou Jaiteh Serbia Nikola Cvorovic
Georgia Beka Burjanadze Slovenia Jure Kopac
Germany Mauricio Marin Slovenia Jakob Strazar
Greece Kyprianos Maragkos Slovenia Tomaz Bolcina
Greece Ioannis Papapetrou Slovenia Marko Kastelic
Israel Egor Koulechov Spain Albert Homs
Italy Corrado Bianconi Spain Guillermo Hernangomez
Italy Matteo Imbro Spain Javier Marin
Latvia Oskars Reinfelds Sweden Nicholas Spires
Latvia Ceslavs Mateikovics Sweden Jesper Eliasson
Lithuania Augustinas Jankaitis Turkey Tayfun Erulku
Lithuania Marius Grigonis Turkey Burak Can Yildizli
Lithuania Tomas Dimsa Turkey Talat Alp Altunbey
Lithuania Denis Krestinin Ukraine Gerun Volodymyr
  • Basketball without Borders Africa
    Moscow, Russia: Sept. 13 – 16, 2012
    • FIBA/NBA Players

      MarShon Brooks
      Brooklyn Nets
    • Brian Cardinal
      NBA Player
    • Dmitri Domani
      Former NBA Player
    • Danny Green
      San Antonio Spurs
    • Andrei Kirilenko
      Minnesota Timberwolves
    • Timofey Mozgov
      Denver Nuggets
    • Alexey Shved
      Minnesota Timberwolves
    • Sarunas Marciulonis
      Former FIBA Player
    • Sergei Panov
      Former FIBA Player
    • Sergei Tarakanov
      Former FIBA Player
    • Valeri Tikhonenko
      Former FIBA Player
    • Alexander Volkov
      Former FIBA Player
    • FIBA/NBA Coaches

      Mario ElieBrooklyn NetsUSA
      David AdelmanMinnesota TimberwolvesUSA
      Melvin HuntDenver NuggetsUSA
      Tim ConnellyNew Orleans HornetsUSA
    • Trainer

      Anthony GoenagaNew York KnicksUSA
    • Camp Director

      Marin SedlacekFIBA CoachSerbia