Posted Jul 31 2005 1:07PM
Italy, July 31 – The four-day Basketball without Borders camp in Treviso, Italy wrapped up on Sunday with two final matchups for each team to determine the overall camp champion.
After the last two days, the standings looked like this. The Mavericks were on top with three wins and no losses. They were closely followed by a group of three teams tied at two wins, the Bucks, Jazz and the Hawks. Trailing behind were the Bobcats and Grizzlies with three losses and no wins.
So going into Sunday’s games the Bucks, Jazz and Hawks were under pressure as the campers knew that they had to play their best if they were going to get a chance to be camp champions. In the end Zaza Pachulia’s Bucks met the challenge beating the up to now unbeaten Mavericks 58-54. The Grizzlies and Bobcats who had not yet won a game played hard and both won their matchups. The Grizzlies defeated the Utah Jazz 69-63 and Primoz Brezec’s Bobcats beat the Hawks 68-38.
But the games weren’t over yet and the campers immediately started another round which would determine the overall camp champions. The Jazz got back on form beating the Bucks 73-68 and the Bobcats had a great game defeating the Grizzlies 83-60 but it was the Mavericks who confirmed their place at the top beating the Hawks 60-74, to win the camp championship title.
At the end of the competition an All-Star Team was named which included players from four different countries. Slobodan Dundjerski from Serbia Montenegro, Javier Forcada and Samb Mamadou from Spain, Omri Casspi from Israel and Daniel Mark Clark from England.
But the star of the show today was Giorgi Gaprindashvilli from Georgia, who played for the winning Mavs team and was named MVP of the game. “It’s the first time for me. I’m very happy,” he said. “I never thought that I would win. So it’s a nice surprise.”
All the campers received parting gifts and best wishes from everyone at the camp and many were sad to leave. But it wasn’t just the young players who had enjoyed the camp.
“It’s great,” said Primoz Brezec. “I mean for us NBA guys we don’t see each other over the summer and we get to see the different cultures and share our experiences with the kids.”
Maybe one day soon some of these young players will once again play alongside their idols on a basketball court. What is sure is that Andrei Kirilenko, Dirk Nowitzki, Gordan Giricek, Primoz Brezec and Zaza Pachulia gave their time to help them achieve their dreams.