Basketball

New four-part documentary showcases history of FIBA World Cup

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Before the 2019 FIBA World Cup begins on Aug. 31 in China, basketball’s global governing body is celebrating its rich history with a new four-part documentary.

FIBA released the first episode of “The History of the FIBA Basketball World Cup” on Friday. A new episode will be released each Friday before the tournament tips off.

The documentary is available via FIBA’s Facebook page and YouTube and Instagram platforms, as well as LiveBasketball.TV and some local broadcasters.

The world basketball event was known as the FIBA World Championship from 1950 to 2010, and in the documentary 17 tournaments spanning 69 years are highlighted.

In interviews with basketball luminaries such as Pau Gasol, Oscar Schmidt, Jorge Garbajosa, Toni Kukoc, Alonzo Mourning, Mike Krzyzewski and Theo Papaloukas, the history of FIBA’s global showcase event comes to life.

“The FIBA Basketball World Cups have always been full of emotion, excitement and life-changing moments,” FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said in a statement. “Each of the 17 tournaments has provided everyone with unforgettable memories that have shaped our sport into what it is today. I am sure that this documentary will be an exciting journey through time for every basketball fan around the world.”

Episode I traces the history of the FIBA World Cup beginning in 1994, featuring Dream Team II (the U.S. national team, including Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Johnson, Shawn Kemp and Derrick Coleman) and NBA stars for the first time. Previously, it was an event only for amateurs, and the new collaboration between FIBA and the NBA and how it benefited the sport is also explained.

“From the streets of Europe to the arenas of Asia, basketball is everywhere,” the narrator said at the beginning of the first episode.

He added: “Since 1950, the game’s greatest have starred in the definitive global competition.”

Episode 2 (Aug. 16) examines the first five FIBA World Championships, all of which were held in South America, and also documents the Yugoslavia-USSR rivalry.

Episode 3 (Aug. 23) highlights the 1980s, including a new era of talent.

Episode 4 (Aug. 30) illuminates the 1990s and 2000s, including the 2006 extravaganza in Japan, in the run-up to this year’s World Cup.

Here’s a link to Episode 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFYsDkR0d3Y&t=5s

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