The president of the Spanish Basketball Federation, Jorge Garbajosa, 45, will advance the elections to lead FIBA Europe on May 20, according to the portal. shooting and has confirmed this newspaper. Garbajosa will compete for the position with the Frenchman Jean-Pierre Siurat, president of the French federation, seeking to replace the Turkish Turgay Demirel. If he is elected top representative of FIBA Europe, a position for which he has many options given the recent successes of the national teams, Garbajosa should leave the leadership of the Spanish federation, the presidency he has held since 2016. The former international player was re-elected on September 21, 2020 for a period of four more years as he was the only candidate, with 92% support (66 votes in favor and six blank).
According to the statutes of the Spanish Federation, if the president leaves office before the end of his term, the chair would be occupied on an interim basis by the first vice president, José Miguel Sierra, who is in turn president of the Aragonese federation, or the general secretary , Gabriel Rodríguez de la Paz. However, given that there is still more than a year and a half left for the current term to conclude, the most probable scenario is that new elections will be called for the exclusive election of the new president, maintaining the current assembly. In this case, the name of the former player Elisa Aguilar (222 internationals, sixth in the women’s ranking, and winner of six medals), currently director of Competitions for the Federation and Garbajosa’s right-hand man along with the general director, Oscar Graefenhain, gains a lot of strength. .
The FEB lives the year of its centenary in a splendid moment of form. The different Spanish teams reaped an unforgettable 2022. The absolute men’s team conquered the Eurobasket in Berlin after a generational change and many absences that left Sergio Scariolo’s team out of the group of great favorites. With its success, Spain, current world and European champion, surpassed the United States for the first time in history in the first place in the ranking. It was the peak of a summer in which all the training categories won medals in their respective competitions: eight finals out of eight possible, with golds in the men’s European sub-20, men’s European sub-18 and women’s European sub-20, and silver in the two U-17 World Cups, the women’s U-18 European Championship and the two U-16 European Championships. And that the absolute women’s team culminated by qualifying for the next European after a time of turbulence. Ahead of this cycle, big events such as the men’s absolute World Cup this coming summer (from August 25 to September 10 in Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia) and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
In a recent interview in EL PAÍS, Jorge Garbajosa, 167 internationals and winner of six medals as a player, reflected on the success of this model: “China, Venezuela, Angola, Portugal, NBA franchises have come to the federation… They want to know how we do it. It is all part of a whole. There are no clubs, federations… The clubs are important so that the teams have the ability to compete, and vice versa. They are communicating vessels. A good selection makes clubs better and vice versa. The problem is when you want to disassociate it. That has been my main task, to explain that one part is worthless without the other. The ACB is the best League in Europe and the national team is the best”. Asked about where he saw himself in the future, with a term that ends in 2024 and that could extend for another four years, the president replied: “I like to take on the bad part. I never liked continuing to continue. It already happened to me as a player, setting myself challenges. It’s my life”. Would you be excited about the challenge of FIBA Europe or the NBA? “If the project is good and there are things I can help improve, why not? If the challenge is to continue here, I’m delighted, but I’ll need to look inside myself”. And he praised the role of Sergio Scariolo, with a contract until 2024: “He is a transcendental figure in this house. For the successes, which maintain the prestige, and for his involvement with a way of working. In sports, which rise or fall every day depending on the result, making an eight-year plan is lunatic. And in 2016 we did it with Sergio. The formation selections work the same from the sub-12 to the absolute. You don’t always win and doubts may arise. Staying faithful when the result doesn’t come is complicated, but it’s the right thing to do and we’ve done it. When you don’t win, the only thing that sustains you are values. I admire Pesic, Collet, Itoudis, but Sergio is the best coach in the world. He always speaks to his face and to the clear, and every summer he has 12 soldiers who follow him with family fidelity. He creates a little big brother”.
Among the challenges for FIBA Europe is building bridges to solve the current basketball schism, with a calendar in which the Euroleague matches (organization now chaired by Dejan Bodiroga) overlap with those of the selection windows and that prevent many countries from always having their best players. Regarding this conflict, Garbajosa commented to this newspaper last December: “When FIBA established the windows, the Euroleague was 20 games. And change it to 34 years playoffs. There was plenty of room. The windows take the team to non-basketball sites to grow. We want to live with the Euroleague and they, when they want, show that they can. But there are things that cannot be understood. If you want to collaborate and the one in front doesn’t, it’s complicated. The Euroleague is experiencing a moment of questions, it does not know where it is headed. If there is not a defined majority in that organization, it is difficult to make decisions”.
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