Istanbul, June 04, 2008 -- Day 1 --Istanbul'a Hosgeldiniz! (Welcome to Istanbul!) The 50 top young basketball players from 25 different European countries taking part in Basketball without Borders Europe took to the winding streets and narrow alleys of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, this morning, marking the official opening of the eighth edition of BWB Europe. The Grand Bazaar, or Kapalicarsi in Turkish, was the setting for the first official outing of Basketball without Borders 2008. The Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world with its 4400 shops, 3000 firms, 17 hans (separate inns for specific type of products), 64 streets, 25.000 employees, 4 fountains, 2 mosques, 22 gates... and for one day only 50 young basketball players.

For the six Turkish players present, it was an opportunity for them to show off some of their local heritage to the young players from countries as far a field as Iceland, Ukraine, Latvia, Georgia and Poland, to name just a few. Following the trip, the players as selected by the NBA, FIBA and the individual federations, assembled in the gym at the Darussafaka Ayhan Sahenk for a scrimmage under the watchful eye of NBA Coaches Jim Boylan, Tom Barrissee, New Jersey Nets; Joe Prunty, Dallas Mavericks; Jay Triano, Toronto Raptors and Russell Turner, Golden State Warriors. NBA Players Bruce Bowen, San Antonio Spurs; Randy Foye, Minnesota Timberwolves; David Lee, New York Knicks; Mickael Pietrus, Golden State Warriors and Turkish natives Mehmet Okur of the Utah Jazz and Hedo Turkoglu of the Orlando Magic will serve as camp coaches throughout the duration of the camp.