Basketball can simply be defined as a sport that is played by two teams each containing five players. At the end of the game the team with the highest score wins. Today it has become a very popular game and there are almost 213 teams, which compete at the Olympic games. If the player shoots the ball in to the basket in a penalty shot then he or she scores one point. Normally, the tallest player in the team plays in the center or the forward positions.
Although professional basketball is an indoor sport and is played on a proper basketball court, a number of variations of the game have come about and it has now become a very common outdoor sport. Both the teams are strong competitors and while the former is a Dutch team the latter is a Spanish team. The EiffelTowers Den Bosch is a very new team when compared to the experienced Regal FC Barcelona. However the last season has seen a change in the game view since the FC Barcelona, although a far more experienced team had to go without any title wins whereas the EiffelTowers were able to win the Dutch Cup.
Basketball can simply be defined as a sport that is played by two teams each containing five players. These two teams have to score points by either dropping or throwing a ball through their respective hoop or basket. At the end of the game the team with the highest score wins. The game of basketball was invented as early as 1891 by Dr James Naismith and became a world famous game ever since. Today it has become a very popular game and there are almost 213 teams, which compete at the Olympic games. It is not only a well-known sport in the schools but also in the Para Olympics.
This is a team sport and each team can have only five active players at a time on the floor, although there can be several back-up players. The hoop through which the ball has to be dropped is at a height of 10 feet or 3 meters. If a player manages to shoot the ball such that it passes through the basket from above it, then he or she is eligible for two points. If the player shoots the ball in to the basket in a penalty shot then he or she scores one point.
The players can move the ball on the court by dribbling it or bouncing it with their hand and passing it to their teammates. Any physical contact among the players, which can be disruptive in nature, is considered as a foul and there are many restrictions and violations on how the ball should be handled, passed and thrown around in the court while the game is being played. Normally, the tallest player in the team plays in the center or the forward positions. The shorter players and those who can handle the ball skillfully and move swiftly play at the different guard positions.
The basketball game is played in four quarters with each of either 10 or 12 minutes, where the latter is followed in the NBA. Five minutes are given as overtime periods and the half time break is of 15 minutes. In the second half the teams exchange their baskets. The teams have their own head coach, assistant coach, trainers, doctors and managers. The referee, 1 or 2 umpires and table officials mainly control the game.
Basketball is among the more popular sports in the world today and is also widely viewed by the fans and media. Although professional basketball is an indoor sport and is played on a proper basketball court, a number of variations of the game have come about and it has now become a very common outdoor sport. In this article the focus is mainly on two professional basketball teams – the EiffelTowers Den Bosch and the Regal FC Barcelona Bàsquet. Both the teams are strong competitors and while the former is a Dutch team the latter is a Spanish team. (Lamb, 2004)
Before going into the details of the two teams we need to know about the league to which the clubs belong. The Union des Ligues Européennes de Basket or the Union of European Leagues of Basketball or the ULEB was formed in the year 1991 and its main aim is to help in the development and cooperation of the different professional European basketball leagues. Its headquarters are located in Barcelona, which is in Spain. The ULEB started with the Ligue Nationale de Basketball or LNB of France, the Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto or ACB of Spain and the Lega Basket A or Serie A of Italy.
The Hellenic Basketball Clubs Association or HEBA soon joined them in 1996, which manages the Liga dos Clubes de Basquetebol or LBC of Portugal and A1 Ethniki or Greek League of Greece. Again in 1999 the Ligue Nationale de Basket of Switzerland, the British Basketball League or BBL of United Kingdom and the Basketball League Belgium or BLB of Belgium joined the ULEB. The ULEB further expanded with the Deutsche Basketball Bundesliga or BBL of Germany, the Polska Liga Koszykówki or PLK of Poland and the Federatie Eredivisie Basketballclubs FEB of Netherlands joining it in 2001.
In 2002 the Adriatic Basketball Association or ABA, which sanctions the NLB League, and the Österreichische Basketball Bundesliga of Austria joined. Finally the last members to loin the ULEB were Lietuvos Krepšinio Lyga or LKL of Lithuania in 2003, the Asociace M. Prvoligovych Klubu of Czech Republic in 2004 and the Ligat HaAl of Israel in 2005. (King, 2006)
When ULEB broke off from the Fédération Internationale de Basketball or International Basketball Federation or FIBA in 2000 it began the Euroleague with the 2000-01 season. Instead of featuring the traditional one game final of the basketball game, the first Euroleague season held a five game series finale. However this was dropped after a year. Within a year the ULEB Euroleague became the accepted and renowned topmost tournament in entire Europe. Both the Saporta Cup and the Korac Cup tournaments were later dissolved and joined with the ULEB tournament. Originally it was known as the ULEB Cup but now it is called the Eurocup.
History of Dutch Basketball
In 1945 for the first time the First Division Basketball was planned in Holland. Most of the early participating teams were from Amsterdam and only in 1967 did a club from another city win the championship trophy. The strong clubs were from Delft, Haarlem, Leiden, Den Helder and the well-known Den Bosch.
The two clubs that changed the history of Dutch basketball was one from the city of Den Bosch, the EBBC. In 1972 EBBC made its very first appearance in a division. While in its glory days it changed its name to the Nashua Den Bosch after successfully winning 9 Dutch League titles between the years 1979-88. They also reached the Euroleague Group 5 times between the years 1980-87. among their well-known players were Henk Pieterse, Raymond Bottse, Jos Kuipers and Kees Akerboom Sr. Their highest European success came in the year 1979 when they lost the finals of the Cup Winners’ Cup to Cantu by a small margin. They won their 12th and final Dutch League title in 1997.
The other major club was the EiffelTowers Nijmegen. They were mainly based in the city of Nijmegen since the year 2000. They also won the Ricoh Cup the same year and had reached the 2002 Dutch League finals. In 2003 they won both the Cup of Netherlands and Dutch League trophies. They debuted in the ULEB Cup in the year 2004 after beating big teams like the Makedonikos or Le Mans. But then Eiffel, who was their major sponsor, went about with its own team and Nijmegen continued to compete in the Dutch league. (Deb, 2006)
History of EiffelTowers (Dutch club)
The EiffelTowers is one of the most well known among professional Dutch basketball teams. It is located in eastern Holland in the Arnhem-Nijmegen area. Its first taste of success of First Division Basketball came in the 1996-97 games. They returned with force in the 2000-01 games and took the fourth place in their group as they lost to the eventual champions, the Ricoh Astronauts, in the quarterfinals.
The next year, 2001-02, EiffelTowers won their game in the regular season group but lost to the defending champions in the final game. In 2002-03 when the Ricoh Astronauts lost in the semifinals, the EiffelTowers roared through and won the finals by 4-1, making it their first ever title win. They improved and got better as the 2003-04 season of the ULEB Cup progressed. Two of their players, Eric Nelson and Chris Mims, even received the prestigious Weekly Most Valuable Person (MVP) honors before the season was over.
The EiffelTowers played with the same team members for three seasons but while preparing for the 2004-05 season, a number of changes were made in the team. While most of their key members did not come back for the season a number of new players joined the team. Among the members of the team were Gert Kullamae, a veteran shooter, Tommy Gunn, their electric scorer and Mike Mardesich.
In the month of June in 2005 EiffelTowers The Bosch or Den Bosch was founded and this club was made from two other well-known Holland Eredivisie clubs, which were the EiffelTowers Nijmegen and the EBBC Den Bosch. They played in the Federatie Eredivisie Basketballclubs or FEB Eredivisie and have also played in the ULEB Cup for two consecutive seasons, 2006-07 and 2007-08 in Maaspoort Sports and Events. The EiffelTowers Den Bosch tasted their very first success while in their first season when they won the Dutch National Championship Title 2005-06. The very next year they again won the title after beating the Nijmegen team Matrixx Magixx in a clean sweep. They also won the Dutch National Cup in 2004 and again in 2008.
In 2006, the EiffelTowers Den Bosch had a new coach, Randy Wiel along with great players like Joaquim Gomes, Gert Kullamae, Leon Rodgers and Erik Nelson. With a strong team like this helped them to win the Championship that year. (Fletcher, 2007)
In 2006, the EiffelTowers Den Bosch had a new coach, Randy Wiel along with great players like Joaquim Gomes, Gert Kullamae, Leon Rodgers and Erik Nelson. With a strong team like this helped them to win the Championship that year. EiffelTowers Den Bosch were among the other twenty four European teams to take part in the ULEB Cup that year, which is considered to be the second highest level of contest between the various European Clubs. But, under Randy Wiel, EiffelTowers Den Bosch’s ULEB Cup drawing was the strongest ever. They had other good teams like St. Petersburg, Red Star Belgrade and Real Madrid in their group and thus had a lot of work ahead of them. Randy Wiel has coached a number of school and college basketball teams and also the Dutch National Team. He has not only motivated the team but also made them work as hard as possible both in the practice sessions and the actual games.
The various trophies and championships won by the EiffelTowers Den Bosch are:
- Dutch Eredivisie Champion (3): 97, 06, 07
- Dutch Cup (3): 00, 02, 08
- Dutch Eredivisie Regular Season Champion (2): 06, 07
- European Cup (3): 1993-1994, 1994-1995, 1996-1997
Holland is not one of the countries where people grow up with the dream of playing basketball as a national sport. So, in order to promote the game of basketball in Holland ULEB’s most notable club, the EiffelTowers Den Bosch had borrowed their name from a historic figure of another country. Also their coaches Randy Wiel and his assistant, the renowned Dean Smith, are from the North Carolina University. Wiel also brought about a very special person, Davis, as his assistant coach. Davis was not only Rookie of the Year but was also six time NBA All-Star.
It has been said that The EiffelTowers Den Bosch is the most unique club that participated in the ULEB Cup last season and also this season. They won their second consecutive title in the Dutch National League in May 2007 by beating Matrixx Magixx 78-88 in the best of seven series by 4-0.
Last season they also returned to play in the ULEB Cup and had a huge win against the team of Real Madrid. They shocked everyone when they beat the eventual champions, Real Madrid. Their team leader was Travis Young and some of the new members were Darrel Tucker, Brandon Kurtz, Jayson Wells and Greg Stevenson. While Travis Young was an efficient ballhandler, scorer and the team’s combo guard, Greg Stevenson was one of the best athletic slashers and Kees Akerboom an ace scorer along with swingman Jos Frederiks. Brandon Kurtz was their main reference and Robert Owens came back from the benches to help at the wing spots.
Their intense playmaker Roye Berkowitz came back from the bench too. Robert Owens’ contract was extended for a year more and thus he too joined the powerhouse roster. Brandon Kurtz’s former college teammate Greg Harrington was also signed into the team. While Kurtz was their center, Harrington was at point guard. Along with Owens, the contracts of Travis Young and Marcel Aarts had also been extended. Other major additions to the team were centers Trevor Harvey and Sharon Wright. Sam Jones returned at his starting point guard position and was joined by Erik Nelson who was their rebounding ace, Leon Rodgers, their scoring machine, Rein Van der Kamp their forward player and Ray Weathers the team’s physical guard. (Dos, 2006)
Sam Jones returned to stay the floor general for EiffelTowers Den Bosch. His sense of unselfishness, leadership, court vision and ball handling helped the team immensely to perform better. Travis young had excellent driving skills and was also a very good defender.
He was also one of the top scorers during the 2004-05 season of the ULEB Cup. Ray Weathers was explosive on the court as he was very quick and had great passing skills. His athleticism and will power could change the face of the game anytime. Leon Rodgers was a great scorer and could dive past the bigger defenders easily. He could also step back and attempt the mid range jumper if required. He was also a good rebounder. For Erik Nelson the last season was his 6th season and he started it by providing firm post skills and rebounds to his team. Sharon Wright was good both at rebounds and also at both ends. He intimidates the opposition and uses his post skills perfectly.
In the last season, 2008-09, the Head Coach was Randy Wiel and there were two Assistant Coaches, Weird Goedee and the club’s previous player Sharone Wright. While in 2007 the team was much more perimeter oriented, last year under head coach Randy Wiel, they played more from the inside out which proved to be a winning formula for the team just like the other teams. Although Randy Wiel expected the EiffelTowers Den Bosch to be among the top 5 teams who could win the Championships last season, he also agreed to the fact that the team was a little inconsistent mainly in their own league.
They also needed to improve their team chemistry as they had a number of new players on the team. He wanted the players to trust each other so that they could play the game together. Randy Wiel also emphasized on the defensive side to make it more consistent. Defensively he preferred the man-to-man pressure rather than the zone defense. The 2007-08 basketball team of EiffelTowers Den Bosch seemed to be much more attentive on their defensive side than ever before in the past, since earlier seasons a lot of focus was positioned on the existence of a star player like Gert Kullamae or Leon Rodgers to completely turn the pace of the game. Like every other successful basketball team EiffelTowers Den Bosch also spent a lot of practice time on their defense strategies.
EiffelTowers Den Bosch’s ex head coach Randy Wiel has led the team in their three seasons winning games with two successive Dutch FEB titles. It was due to the hard work of Randy Wiel that has put the EiffelTowers Den Bosch back on the track giving them a successful run in the Dutch competitions and ULEB Cups. He has also conducted a few coaching clinics with the star player Swen Nater. Under him EiffelTowers Den Bosch has had tremendous success in the Dutch competition and for the first time they won back-to-back Dutch championships. They not only triumphed in the ULEB Cup but also won the Haarlem Basketball Week International Tournament in 2007. By taking part in the ULEB Cup the team got a first hand look at the stronger basketball teams in Europe and realized what they needed to do in order to close the gap between them and enjoy more success.
Most of the players are from Holland but a number of the players are from the United States of America. The player’s roster is without any argue the best ever and includes:
- David Jackson – Guard
- Taron Downey – Guard
- Anthony Richardson – Forward
- Kees Akerboom Jr. – Forward
- Jeroen van Vugt – Guard
- Dean Oliver – Guard
- Joost Padberg – Forward / Center
- Marcel Aarts – Center
- Devonne Giles – Forward
- Jerome Beasley – Forward
- Djoenie Steenvoorde – Guard / Forward
- Jos Frederiks – Forward / Guard
It was announced recently that Randy Weil might not lead the EiffelTowers Den Bosch as their Head Coach this year. It was said that since the team did not show a lot of progression under Wiel, he might have to give up his position. Wiel was the head coach of the EiffelTowers Den Bosch for a little over four years in which they not only became Dutch Champions twice in 2006 and 2007 but also won the Dutch Cup in 2008. Although the news has not been yet confirmed, the search for Wiel’s successor is yet to begin and the board members of EiffelTowers Den Bosch haven’t given the fans or media a certain time for naming the Head Coach. (King, 2006)
Recently in January this year the news of the new head coach for the EiffelTowers Den Bosch was confirmed, when the search for Randy Wiel’s successor came to an end. The board members of EiffelTowers Den Bosch named Don Beck as the new Head Coach of the EiffelTowers Den Bosch. He was formerly the head coach at the well-known University of Fresno State, from one of the highest division in the NCAA. Don Beck has signed a contract with the team to coach them till 2010 although the contract might be extended for a year more. Don Beck has been working in Europe for the last 16 years and was even Coach of the Year in Belgium last year as the coach of the Belgium Bree.
He began his European career with Ostend in Belgium. Then from 1994 to 2001 he worked with the German Trier where he played in the Korac Cup and won the German Cup twice. He also helped his team reach the Final Four 4 times. Then he was transferred and started to work with Oldenburg from 2002 to 2007. It was a German team, which could only proceed due to Don Beck. He managed to keep the team on the map and because of his inspiring leadership Oldenburg made it to the top playoffs among the top German teams. Then he moved to the Belgium team of Bree from 2007 to 2008.
He was responsible for making the team number 1 in its regular league but ultimately lost the final playoffs of the season. Don Beck is an American coach with his European experience spanning for over 16 years. Don Beck has been known to be a man with a vision. According to him, basketball can be considered to be a game of habits and one can only be successful by eliminating the bad and cherishing the goodness in oneself.
Sharone Wright was appointed the assistant coach of the EiffelTowers Den Bosch when Randy Wiel was still the head coach of the team. He not only worked for the First Team but also was responsible for the U – 18 Team. Earlier he used to play for the NBA and joined the EiffelTowers Den Bosch in 2007 and has a contract for four years with them. With their newly appointed Head Coach, EiffelTowers Den Bosch have already started winning their important games this season and is steadily climbing up the ranks. With star players like Anthony Richardson and Jerome Beasley, the team is already on a winning streak. But, they have also lost a few games in the EuroChallenge Group D but only by a small margin.
As in every season their basic goal this season is also to win the games in the regular season, defend the Dutch Cup, proceed as far as they can in the EuroChallenge and if possible win it and also win the prestigious Dutch Championship again. EiffelTowers Den Bosch has worked a lot in the recent years and has had a number of top players in their team. The team has improved tremendously under Randy Wiel and has not only competed but also won numerous National Championships. The club started from scratch from the beginning with totally new players and slowly worked their way up. They have dealt with unrealistic expectations at times and have handled it extremely well.
The EiffelTowers The Bosch has taken Dutch basketball to a whole new level. It is one of the most motivated teams in the history of Holland’s basketball. They are known as the Dutch Powerhouse mainly due to their fast paced and attractive techniques of basketball. In the future they hope to play against the best teams of the ULEB Cup and win more titles in their Second Golden Age of Basketball.
Since their success in 2000 in the Dutch First Division Basketball, EiffelTowers Den Bosch has been among the fastest rising teams in the history of Holland. They have finished at the top in almost all of the championship games that they have participated in. They are constantly devising new game plans to win more games and increase the number of trophies under their belt.
Although the EiffelTowers Den Bosch had a very slow start and a number of losses in championship games, they are taking whatever steps required in becoming more competitive in their future. The coaches are specially training the new players who have high chances of becoming part of the team. They are carrying out numerous basketball camps and clinics to take special care of their players. Each match they are playing and each team they face are taken as measuring sticks by them for their future. At the end of each season they evaluate their pros and cons to evaluate their strategies for the future season. Although most of the teams they have played they haven’t been able to beat but they are constantly training to become the best not only in their division but also in Europe.
At present, EiffelTowers Den Bosch has the 2nd position in the Federatie Eredivisie Basketballclubs or FEB in Netherlands. They are also playing in the European Cup this year and having already won a few of them, they are looking forward to winning it this year too. In the near future EiffelTowers Den Bosch are working very hard to reach the Top 16 among the basketball teams in Europe and they plan to do this in the next 5 years only. They also want to work with the other Dutch clubs in order to increase their experience and are thus, working on a network in Europe.
EiffelTowers Den Bosch is also planning to start a school and youth center to train its young players, like the La Masia of the FC Barcelona Bàsquet. They are going to keep the same set up as the La Masia and hope to attract young players from Den Bosch and also from rest of the state. This will not only help the people to take an interest in basketball but also help the team to get some talented new players aboard. The youth center and school to be started by them would become the first basketball school and coaching center in all of Netherlands.
EiffelTowers Den Bosch are sort of the new kids on the block as they are a very young team and need to use their experience from each game to build their way up based on it. Although budget wise they will not be able to compete with some of the top European clubs but on the court they are still one of the best basketball teams. They require size in the team as they had not been able to bring back a few of last year players but are definitely ready to give the team their best effort so that they can go further up in this season.
The EiffelTowers Den Bosch has helped to put their hometown of Nijmegen on the forefront of the European Basketball map in a good manner. They have now turned their attention towards improving their skills and conditions so that they can compete with other teams past the boundaries of Holland. EiffelTowers Den Bosch has a very good reputation and is among the top teams all over Netherlands. According to the EiffelTowers Team President, Erik Kurvers, and Technical Director, Peter Vogelaar, EiffelTowers’ goal is not only to be the best team but also to be the best team in Europe.
Just after three seasons, the EiffelTowers Den Bosch has a huge number of trophies piled up for them. According to the media this team has proved themselves to be a force, which is to be appreciated and respected at home and oversees. The fans of the EiffelTowers Den Bosch hope that they will also be able to show Europe their own style in the prestigious ULEB Cup in its coming seasons.
But Netherlands is not a country that thrives on the game of basketball. A lot of basketball is also not aired on the Dutch TV. The EiffelTowers Den Bosch tries to promote their club and team through online TV channels but there is not a lot of nation wide coverage for the online TV. Dutch basketball gets only about 10 minutes of airtime on the TV. Although the local TV stations show Dutch basketball and the different teams, including EiffelTowers Den Bosch, most of the games aired are highlights of the original game.
The EiffelTowers Den Bosch also have an official online website, whish is available only in Dutch. It contains information about the team, its players and also about their current and upcoming games.
The EiffelTowers The Bosch has been nicknamed as the Towers and their official sponsor is a firm known as Eiffel. There are also a number of local sponsors but the owner of Eiffel had put in most of the money. For this reason the name of the team began with Eiffel. It costs approximately 1500 Euros to become business partners with the sponsors of the team. The 300-meter 19th Century Eiffel Tower in Paris has been the symbol that has always inspired and motivated the Dutch champions.
When the EiffelTowers The Bosch was founded it had one of the largest budgets among all other Netherlands clubs. This helped them to attract good and valuable players like Leon Rodgers, Robert Owens, Sharone Wright and Sam Jones. (King, 2006)
Their total budget, in Euros, is given below.
History of Spanish Basketball
The most well-known Spanish basketball league is the Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto or ACB. It is also considered to be among the best basketball leagues of Europe and was formed in 1956. It was initially known as the Liga Nacional and was renamed in 1983. The league contains 18 basketball teams and is governed by the Fédération Internationale de Basketball or FIBA rules. The better-known teams of this league are the Real Madrid Baloncesto, with 30 ACB championships, FC Barcelona, with 14 ACB championships and the Joventut Badalona, with 2 ACB championships. The ACB championship’s regular season takes place between October and May every year.
Apart from the ACB championships, the ACB league also holds two other tournaments. The Copa del Rey takes place every year among the 8 top teams of the Spanish league. The Supercopa de España Baloncesto started in 2004 and takes place every year among 4 teams – the ACB champion, the ACB runner-up, the Copa del Rey champion and also the host of the entire tournament.
History of FC Barcelona (Spanish club)
The FC Barcelona Bàsquet is a Spanish-Catalonian team and is one of the oldest among the different professional basketball teams in the ACB league. They are located in Catalonia in Barcelona. They have been playing the game for a long time and played their earliest formal basketball competition, the Catalonian Basketball Championship, way back on 24th August in 1926. The blue and claret FC Barcelona Bàsquet basketball team played its first matches in the Sol de Baix sports complex, which is situated between the Travessera de Les Corts and the present Avinguda Madrid. But the team did not fuse in Catalonia until the 1930s. After the Civil War in 1940 a new court was arranged for the FC Barcelona Bàsquet basketball team to play on which was situated beside the south goal of the football ground at the Les Corts.
They have won a huge number of championships and league cups. These include 20 of the Spanish King Cup or the Copa del Rey, 12 of the Catalonian League Cups, 14 of the Liga ACB Cups, 6 of the Catalunya Cups, 2 of the European Cup Winners Cup or Saporta Cup or Korac Cups and 1 each of the Spanish Super Cup, Iberian Cup and Prince of Asturias Cup. Among the World Championships they have won the Euroleague once during the 2002-03 season and the World Club’s Cup once during the 1984-85 season. (Dollard, 2006)
For sponsorship reasons the FC Barcelona Bàsquet are also known as the Regal FC Barcelona. It is a part of the FC Barcelona club family. They play their home league games at Palau Blaugrana, which was inaugurated on 23rd October in 1971. The club also won its first ever continental title at Palau Saint Jordi which is in Barcelona in front of their home fans and marks their biggest event in the club’s history. This was mainly possible due to their coach Svetislav Pesic and the players Juan Carlos Navarro, Gregor Fucka, Dejan Bodiroga and Sarunas Jasikevicius.
A number of the FC Barcelona Bàsquet players are so well renowned that not only have they been made a part of the team’s Hall of Fame but also their numbers have been now retired so that no other player can wear them. They are:
- Andrés Jiménez (1986-1998), Power forward, no. 4. He played in 7 Leagues, 4 Cups, and 1 Korac Cup once and was 4 times Euroleague runner-up.
- Juan Antonio San Epifanio (1979-9195), Small forward, no.15. He played in 7 Leagues, 10 Cups, 2 Cup Winners’ Cups and 1 Korac Cup, 3 times Euroleague runner-up.
- Nacho Solozabal (1978-1994), Point guard, no.7. He played in 6 Leagues, 9 Cups, 2 Cup Winners’ Cups and 1 Korac Cup, 3 times Euroleague runner-up.
- Roberto Duenas (1996-2005), Center no.12. He played in 6 Leagues, 2 Cups, 1 Euroleague and 1 Korac Cup.
Some of the other well-known players are Tony Massenburg, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, Dejan Bodiroga, Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Rony Seikaly, Juan Carlos Navarro and Anderson Varejão.
The FC Barcelona Bàsquet club had taken part in their first competition in 1927 and had played in the Campionat de Catalunya de Basquetbol or the Catalonian Basketball Championship. At this time the dominating teams of basketball were Société Patrie, CB Atlètic Gràcia, CE Europa and Laietà BC. It was only in the 1940s that FC Barcelona Bàsquet was able to establish themselves as a professional basketball team. The second half of the 1940s proved to be their best era of the game, as FC Barcelona Bàsquet emerged right at the top of Spanish game of basketball. During that time they also won 6 Copas del Generalissimo or Copa del Rey and once became runners-up. In 1956 they were also among the founding members of the prestigious Spanish League or the Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto and also ended as the runners-up. In 1959 they also won both of Spanish Basketball’s earliest league and cup.
But the performance of the FC Barcelona Bàsquet declined considerably in the 1960s and 1970s. Their position was so bad that in 1961 the team was dissolved by then club president Enric Llaudet, even though the team was very popular among the common people. But after the fans started a campaign to bring the team back it was reformed in 1962. When the league’s Primera División or First Division was cut from 14 teams to 8 teams in 1964, FC Barcelona was pushed to the Segunda División or Second Division. But after they were crowned the Segunda champions in the year 1965, they returned back to the Primera División. But the club was steadily overshadowed by it rivals the Joventut Badalona and the Real Madrid. (Edelman, 2007)
During the 1980s the club president was Josep Lluís Nuñez and he gave the team his entire support in making their club the best not only in Spain but also Europe. His support showed positive result and the team were also inspired by their head coach, Aíto García Reneses. With players like Audie Norris, Sibilio, Solozábal, Andrés Jiménez and Juan Antonio “Epi” San Epifanio, FC Barcelona won 6 ACB league titles, 5 Copa del Rey, 2 Korac Cup and also the World Championship.
The club’s main success came during the 1990s. In which they won 4 ACB league titles and 2 Copa del Rey. But in all this time they had not been able to win any European Cup titles although they had reached four European Cup finals. Their perseverance was finally rewarded when in 2003 FC Barcelona Bàsquet club, which had already won 13 Liga ACB Cups, won its 14th one along with the Copa del Rey Cup and the Euroleague, all in the same year. Juan Antonio San Epifanio, Juan Carlos Navarro, Dejan Bodiroga and Sarunas Jasikevicius inspired the team to its victory and they beat their rival team Benetton Treviso by 76-65.
The FC Barcelona Bàsquet club has had a number of coaches over the years. They were Manel Comas, Aíto García Reneses, Manolo Flores, Eduard Portela, Eduard Kucharsky, Duško Ivanović, Antoni Serra, Svetislav Pešić, Božidar Maljković and Ranko Žeravica.
One of their players, Dejan Bodiroga even achieved the Most Valuable Player or MVP honors which made him a big hero in front of the Barcelona fan. Chicho Sibilio, Audie Norris, Sasha Djordjevic, Arturas Karnisovas, Nacho Solozabal and Juan Antonio “Epi” San Epifanio helped him a lot to achieve this. Their head coach who was Aito Garcia Reneses also brought a lot of glory for the club by working very hard for a number of years. (Edelman, 2007)
FC Barcelona Bàsquet has a very talented team that has been full of great and talented European players. The types of players that they mainly use are mostly versatile, perimeter oriented and tall so that they are able to properly function in a number of positions and not just stick to one. Star players like Roger Grimau, who played both at point guard and shooting guard, Jordi Trias, who plays both as power forward and small forward, Rodrigo de la Fuente, who played both as shooting guard and point guard, Christian Drejer, who played as shooting guard, Gregor Fucka, who played as power forward and Dejan Bodiroga, who was the small forward all fit the descriptions required for the team.
The size matter on the team has always been an important pattern, right from the days when Pau Gasol started to experiment with the spot at the small forward. In the past few seasons the only difference that was noticeable was that there was a thinner point game when their agile and athletic power forward Anderson Varejao and solid center Patrick Femerling were completely out of the picture of the team. FC Barcelona Bàsquet had replaced these players with the combo forward Jordi Trias and the powerful Marc Gasol. Although this was a big risk for the team as this had been done right in the middle of a season, Gasol’s rawness proved that the replacement had paid off.
However, FC Barcelona Bàsquet had all the assets that were required to compete even against the top teams of the world. They had a number of players who were capable of breaking the match ups in man-to-man situations. Some of them were Christian Drejer, Vlado Ilievski, the point guard, Gregor Fucka, Juan Carlos Navarro, the shooting guard and Dejan Bodiroga. When these guys were on the court we would repeatedly see a series of players cutting forward towards the three point line on the court in order to get hold of the ball and threaten the opponent by penetrating him. In order to execute this method the players would feed another player inside the court or simply shoot the ball or give it to the next player.
Another option used by the FC Barcelona Bàsquet is the post-up game. Apart from the most apparent post players, like Gregor Fucka, Marc Gasol and Roberto Dueñas, who in any case prefer to be facing the basket or hoop there are also some perimeter oriented players who like to take advantage from the various mismatches that are created on the court by the tall players that FC Barcelona Bàsquet usually plays. Specially players like Rodrigo de la Fuente, Christian Drejer and Dejan Bodiroga would frequently see a perimeter threat featuring allowing the mismatches to obscure the rival’s technique of rebounding and fabricate a perfect defensive wall against them.
Rodrigo de la Fuente had the special ability by which he was able to defend most of the perimeter player and was considered to be among the best players in Europe in that area. Although this strategy could help triumph over the rival at most times, it also became a dangerous strategy for FC Barcelona Bàsquet because at times their loose perimeter agility suffered from completely missing out on a pure point basketball player. Although some of the star players had their individual efforts most of the players were equally talented, skilled and had a vision of playing on the court that was necessary to build a good offensive team.
Above all other skills this team possessed a special type of killer instinct that is not there in every other basketball teams. They mainly play their very best game in the final fourth quarter and at that point it becomes almost impossible to beat the team if the entire game is unresolved close to the end of the game. In Europe Dejan Bodiroga was considered to be among the best clutch players of all times while other players like Vlado Ilievski, Juan Carlos Navarro and Rodrigo de la Fuente generally punched their shots right down the stretch.
The different championships and trophies won by the FC Barcelona Bàsquet club are:
- Spanish King’s Cup (20): 1942-43, 1944-45, 1945-46, 1946-47, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1958-59, 1977-78, 1978-79, 1979-80, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1990-91, 1993-94, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07.
- Liga ACB (14): 1958-59, 1980-81, 1982-83, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1994-95, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2003-04.
- Lliga Catalana de Bàsquet (12): 1980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1984-85, 1985-86, 1989-90, 1993-94, 1995-96, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2004-05.
- Catalunya Cup (6): 1941-42, 1942-43, 1944-45, 1945-46, 1946-47, 1947-48.
- European Cup Winners’ Cup (2): 1984-85 1985-86.
- Korac Cup (2): 1986-87, 1998-99.
- European Super Cup (1): 1986-87.
- World Clubs’ Cup (Intercontinental Cup) (1): 1984-85.
- Prince of Asturias Cup (1): 1988-89.
- Iberian Cup (1): 1947-48.
- Euroleague (1): 2002-03.
- Spanish Super Cup (1): 2004. (Edelman, 2007)
The FC Barcelona Bàsquet has a number of nicknames like Culers, Blue-Maroon and Barça. Their Club president is Joan Creus. The present Head Coach of the Regal FC Barcelona team is Xavier Pascual and the Assistant Coaches are Joseph Maria Berrocal and Iñigo Zorzano.
Xavier Pascual became the head coach of the FC Barcelona Bàsquet on 14th of February in 2008 after the club members decided to remove Duško Ivanović as the head coach of the team. Xavier Pascual was initially an assistant coach for more than 2 years before he became the head coach. He joined FC Barcelona Bàsquet as the coach of its B Team way back in 2004 and was also the coordinator of the basketball youth center. He had also worked with other Catalan teams and in the LEB, LEB – 2 and EBA leagues.
Xavier Pascual’s coaching career began in 1990 in Minibasket with CB Gavà. He then worked with a number of different clubs like the CB Cornellà, CB Santfeliuenc, CB Olesa and Aracena. While working with Aracena he won the Catalan EBA League and was thus promoted to the LEB –2. After winning the Catalan EBA League title again in the next year he was promoted further up to LEB and then was appointed to coach the EBA league team. The 36 year old coach has a lot of pressure on him to deliver the best in the team from all sides and although he is inexperienced as a head coach, there is no doubt that he will be able to get the job done due to the resources available to him.
Although FC Barcelona Bàsquet returned to play in the Euroleague Final Four in 2006, they lost out to the eventual champions CSKA Moscow as they were beaten in the semifinals. However in 2007 not only did they reach the Spanish League Finals and Euroleague Quarterfinals Playoffs but they also won the Spanish King’s Cup title. During the 2007-08 season the FC Barcelona Bàsquet team stood third in the ACB standings. But it was a rare season for them as they were not able to win any championships and cups to add to their long list of titles. The team did play in the Euroleague Final Four Playoffs and the Spanish League Finals and their players, Maccabi Tel Aviv and Tau Ceramica, played a very successful season. Among the better players who were part of the team in the season were shooting guard Gary Neal and Rodger Grimau, power forward David Anderson, small forward Xavier Rabaseda and center Fran Vasquez.
When Xavier Pascual became the head coach of the FC Barcelona Bàsquet after replacing Duško Ivanović, FC Barcelona Bàsquet was going through a very troubled season and were performing poorly in almost all of their season games. The team could not proceed to the Final Four of the Euroleague and also lost in the Spanish Cup quarterfinals. But it was only because of Xavier Pascual that the team was able to get to the ACB Finals, as he was able to get the best out of his players.
Ersan Ilyasova had played his finest basketball game ever since he came to the prestigious ACB in the playoff games. He still has to be groomed but has now become almost unstoppable in his game. Center Fran Vázquez has also improved a lot after the replacement of Duško Ivanovic and his actual athleticism and enthusiasm can be seen in the recent seasons games. With such a magnificent overall improvement in the team Xavier Pascual not only established his excellent coaching skills but also proved that he was the only one capable of making FC Barcelona Bàsquet an elite basketball team.
The team has a lot of international players along with the Catalan players. Their present team player roster includes
- David Andersen – Power Forward
- Andre Barrett – Power Forward
- Luboš Bartoň – Shooting Guard
- Rodger Grimau – Shooting Guard
- Gianluca Basile – Shooting Guard
- Ersan İlyasova – Small forward
- Juan Carlos Navarro – Shooting Guard
- Jaka Lakovič – Point guard
- Xavi Rey – Center
- Victor Sada – Point Guard
- Jordi Trias – Power Forward
- Daniel Santiago – Center
- Fran Vázquez – Center (Edelman, 2007)
Just like in the year 2003, a new era had began for FC Barcelona Bàsquet with their star player and scoring machine Juan Carlos Navarro and the big man David Andersen. They both formerly belonged to the All-Euroleague first team. Euroleague powerhouse Daniel Santiago, talented playmaker Andre Barrett, physical point guard Victor Sada and the multitalented forward Lubos Barton have joined the other core players of the FC Barcelona Bàsquet which had reached the Spanish League finals and the Euroleague Quarterfinals Playoff last season.
According to Xavier Pascual, the main goal of the team season is to make it to the Final Four, as there cannot be another goal for FC Barcelona Bàsquet. They have started their present Euroleague season with a lot of ambition and hope to have a good season all the way.
FC Barcelona Bàsquet has a number of different roster teams, starting with the players who fall in the age group of 13 to 14. Their Basketball Youth squad has 5 different levels, each with a different coach, assistant coach, fitness instructor and players. They are the Under 14 A, Under 14 B, Under 16 A, Under 16 B and Under 19. FC Barcelona Bàsquet also has a First and Second Team. These young players have to first stay at La Masia, which is located beside the Camp Nou stadium. It is the main center for the Barça youth system and the place is used to develop the talent of the younger players, both in their intellectual and sporting sense.
A number of players from this youth center have been chosen to play for the Basketball First Team. They have also been chosen to play in other Spanish clubs. The youth center has been very successful in recent times such that the Barça’s youth players are generally referred to as La Masia. The players that stay and train in La Masia are not just from Catalonia or the rest of Spain, but also from other countries. The facility is huge and at a time can house 60 players. There are 4 large dormitories, bathrooms, library, separate living and dining rooms and kitchen.
Thus, La Masia has not only been a youth center but also a second home for the young players who started their basketball career over there. The symbolic old building was actually built in 1702 as a farmhouse but in 1966 the club took over the entire area for building its social club. In 1979 the place became a residential house for the Barça’s youth players. It covers almost 610 square meters and has two stories.
When the 1999-2000 season began the La Masia facility was further enlarged as an annex was constructed to accommodate an additional 18 rooms. The main objective of the La Masia is to educate and train the young players who have left their family and home with the dream to join the club. Budding young players from all over the world come to train at La Masia with the dream of being part of some of the greatest teams in the world. Since its opening, La Masia has produced more than 30 youngsters who have later on gone about to join the First Team of FC Barcelona Bàsquet. Some of the top star players who were trained here were Víctor Valdés, Reina, Xavi, De La Peña, Sergi, Puyol, Guardiola and Amor.
The former coaches and also the players of the basketball team do most of the scouting of new players for FC Barcelona Bàsquet. Manolo Flores, who is also the vice president of the team, is the director for scouting and manages the youth team. The manager of the youth basketball is Joan Montes. The Officers for the young international scouting are Roberto Dueñas and Edu Ubach. Their Office for the scouting centers is also handled by Roberto Dueñas
The new head of the team’s basketball maneuver is Joan Creus who has put together an improved and enhanced roster of players who are full of raw talent. The return of their superstar player Juan Carlos Navarro from his short spell in the NBA has been without a doubt the star signing for the club in the present new season. Also on the team is the Czech forward Lubos Barton, the former Australian CSKA center David Andersen, guards Andre Barret and Víctor Sada, and the huge seven footer Daniel Santiago who was a late addition to the team. With such a set up the team has arguably the most excellent roster of top class players in the ACB.
There are around six newcomers on the team who are expected to increase the overall level of the team, as there are a lot of expectations from the team. However the team has had a very good start in this season and are mainly focusing on the games in the regular season group for the time being. As the team is a very balanced one it also becomes a little complicated. Although the team members are working very hard and giving it their best, they expect a tough Euroleague season in front of them this year and hope to be equally competitive in all the various competitions that they take part in.
It is guaranteed that the new season of basketball will see FC Barcelona Bàsquet start with an ambition of being one of the top contenders of the game and their intentions are to give a tough fight to the opposition team. This is no surprise to their fans and also the media as they have won 7 of the past 14 ACB League Championships. They have also received a triple crown in 2003 when they won all three of the Spanish King’s Cup, the ACB League, and the Euroleague Final Four. The 2007-08 season was not very fruitful for the FC Barcelona Bàsquet as they were not able to claim any trophies and championship titles, but this further assures that FC Barcelona Bàsquet club’s urge to perform better in their future games will be much greater and thus they will have a wonderful season ahead of them.
It is without doubt that like the former seasons this season too FC Barcelona Bàsquet are going to start the season with a lot of ambitious intentions of not only being a top contender in the games played by them but also to win the championships they take part in. This is no surprise to the fans. They have had a number of significant triumphs over other teams. They have also reached the Final Four seven times, including in the last season. With the serenity of already having won numerous titles, FC Barcelona Bàsquet will be facing their upcoming season with the hope of winning many other championship games and also making it all the way to the Final Four. The team is very talented, but only needs to be better balanced.
According to the new format of the Euroleague regular seasons, the groups have been reduced to six teams. This will help to give the top clubs a relaxed initial stage in the series. It has already been predicted that FC Barcelona Bàsquet is going to be one of the teams to make it to the top. The series of ten games in its regular season is therefore going to be a simple warm up period for the FC Barcelona Bàsquet before they face the Top 16.
Montepaschi and Panathinaikos are going to be their biggest rivals in their group and FC Barcelona Bàsquet should be able to compete with them right up to the end of the group stages and if possible end with one of the first three positions. The FC Barcelona Bàsquet team is far better than that in the last season and thus it should be considered as one of the strongest candidates to play in the Final Four.
The FC Barcelona Bàsquet club’s ever growing triumph has not only made it possible for them to achieve a number of accomplishments in their history but has also kept them in the attention of their fans and media. As they are among the more experienced and older teams of the league, the expectations that the media have ff them are much more than any other team.
Their media strategies are basically based on three main strands. They are:
- Barça TV – in the area of international broadcasting, the marketing of Barça TV takes place in over 150 countries over the continents of Asia, Europe, Africa and America.
- Internet – this is the fastest and the most widespread medium of broadcasting. FC Barcelona Bàsquet have their own website with detailed information not only about the team and players but also current games. They are also available in around 7 different languages for easy understanding of the fans worldwide.
- Mobile – this is the new media for the fans of FC Barcelona Bàsquet to receive updates about the team. A number of new distribution agreements are being formed.
From the year 2004 to 2007, the FC Barcelona Bàsquet were mainly sponsored by the renowned Winterthur Group, which was a Swiss Insurance company and since 1910 had major offices in Barcelona. But in 2006 the entire Winterthur Group was taken over by another company, the AXA. In 2007 AXA took the decision of merging the Winterthur brand into its own. This changed the club’s name to AXA FC Barcelona. At the starting of the 2008-09 season the club’s sponsors again changed. This time it was a Spanish insurer called Regal, which is a division of the Liberty Seguros. They also have a number of other sponsors like the more recent brands of Estrella Damm, Audi, La Caixa and Nike. (Edelman, 2007)
FC Barcelona in efforts to enhance revenue sought to increase the media income which was generated mainly through sale of television rights to the media houses. In the 2007/2008 season, acting through Audio Visual Sports Company, they negotiated a fixed payout of 50 million Euros per season and a further 20 percent of all revenues generated through the pay-per-view feature as television rights. Sogecable another sports marketing company which had an 80 percent claim on media rights was granted television rights for all European club games (UEFA) whereby FC Barcelona received a seasonal fixed income of 12 million Euros and a further 50 percent income for any revenue beyond 24 million Euros. FC Barcelona however, through a buyout clause bought back the remaining Spanish contracts which it subsequently resold to MediaPro for 125 million Euros per season.
The club also repurchased its rights for Barca-TV which were however limited to featuring re-runs of ‘live games’, lifestyle of their soccer superstars, club history and past golden games. The channel proved to be a resounding success and by 2006 had subscribed to over 55,000 viewers with a significant lucrative overseas market which was distributed by TWI-IMG marketing firm in over fifty countries.
Another marketing outlet, the emergence of mobile or cell phones as formidable marketing avenues was evident in the enormous international demand for FC Barcelona merchandise especially in the Asian markets. Similarly the internet generated global audiences and FC Barcelona revamped its website to attract more fans. The emergency of fantasy sports and video games further enhanced the potential markets for the club. Live games were now shown through phones and web streaming hence opening marketing opportunities in these forums.
The clubs deliberate promotion of being ‘more than a club’ philosophy was reflected in the larger-than-life image of the club in the city of Barcelona and its environs. Its promotion of other popular games into the international arena ensured the club’s image was further improved with the clubs teams in basketball and other games, matching the main soccer team in their prowess in the field. The club was therefore viewed as the lifeblood of the region and its fortunes were crucial to the city of Barcelona as it was part of the city’s foremost tourist attraction and cultural heritage. This standing in the society was reflected in the royal following which was epitomised by the record club attendance in the vast Nou Camp stadium of 98,000 spectators hence generating a steady ticket sale revenue and large sale of seasonal tickets.
FC Barcelona lags behind its rivals in terms of sponsorship deals. This is mainly due to its reluctance to sign shirt or logo sponsorship deals as the clubs socis are opposed to the move. The socis preference for keeping their club’s shirts ‘clean’ or without advertisement was however compromised as they agreed to feature the UNICEF logo albeit without any accompanying financial deal for the club. In Real Madrid, the club generates 64.3 million Euros with 2.5 million T-Shirts sold and Manchester United had 39 million Euros with sales of 1.9 T-shirts while FC Barcelona only gained 14.7 million Euros. FCB Merchandising an affiliate of Nike and FC Barcelona handled these products even as the club also negotiated their soccer stars image rights using the FC Barcelona brand and individual sponsorship deals.
The importance of the international market for soccer clubs was pioneered by English clubs led by Manchester United. This marketing was more emphasised by clubs touring the regions which had large fan bases and playing exhibition matches there. The club successful sojourn in the Asian market persuaded other top European clubs to venture into this market and Real Madrid, Barcelona rival in Spain registered major successes in Asia and U.S. markets.
FC Barcelona marketing arm led by Javier Munoa embarked on a campaign to enhance their potential as exemplified by the huge viewer-ship of the games with Real Madrid which usually had 120 million viewers. The club has initiated measures aimed at entrenching its popularity in Asia and America by signing marketing deals through Titan Sports. Japan leads the way in terms with 45 percent of the European games being played there while China and USA have 20 percent each and by 2005, Nike had the FC Barcelona shirt leading in sales. J-Sports distributed the Barca-TV and Zet-Project the mobile phone content.
In 2006 the club signed a partnership deal with Tiger Beer for the South East Asia market with fans being presented trips to watch live games at the Nou Camp stadium (Dynamics 1). Another deal involved the Dubai based Emaar Education of UAE to train the youth on soccer skills in 2008 through Stryx and FCB Merchandising (Emaar Education 1). The Africa and Latin America regions although having a large fan base had little impact due to their limited purchasing power as compared to the Asia and U.S. markets.
In 2006 FC Barcelona signed a deal with America’s Major League Soccer (MLS) to six games in five years and handling of sponsorship rights (TRUSDELL, BRIAN 1). The U.S. market with its tremendous purchasing power has been a hunting ground for the top European clubs and Barcelona which has emerged as major soccer power with some observers terming it the world’s most popular club in 2006 in terms of internet hits, intends to exploit the market through its partnership with the MLS (club 1).
With sponsor like Nike and Regal, the budget of the FC Barcelona team is quite large. The team has also won numerous titles and championships making their winning amount pretty huge.
Their total budget, in Euros, is given below.
The EiffelTowers Den Bosch is a very new team when compared to the experienced Regal FC Barcelona. While the latter had been playing professionally since 1926, the former made their first professional appearance in 1972 and that too as the EBBC Den Bosch. So although there is a lot of space for improvement for the EiffelTowers, they still have the hope of reaching the level reached by the Regal FC Barcelona. Both the teams have a huge national success and have reached numerous final matches, winning many of them. But the FC Barcelona has the advantage of having a number of experienced players and also coaches to help them at every step, while the EiffelTowers are still learning. However the last season has seen a change in the game view since the FC Barcelona, although a far more experienced team had to go without any title wins whereas the EiffelTowers were able to win the Dutch Cup.
Comparing the difference between the Spanish and Dutch League we find that basketball is a sport, which has secured the second place right after football for the Barcelona fans. Thus, this encourages the team of FC Barcelona in their game. But this is not the case for the EiffelTowers. Holland is not a country where people grow up with the idea of sports in their mind. The game of basketball is not promoted in the country a lot and thus the common people are not exposed to the sport at a very early age. This is evident from the fact that both the ACB of Spain and the FEB of Netherlands is a part of the ULEB and the ULEB is situated in Barcelona, Spain. There is also the matter of the sponsors. The FC Barcelona club has more sponsors than the EiffelTowers, which helps them to get more attention and also better equipment and training. (Kar, 2006)
The EiffelTowers Den Bosch has worked very hard to be at the position they are today. But in order to come to the level of the Regal FC Barcelona and change the face of history they have to work even harder. The competitive team that they have put together this season shows that they are more than ready to work towards becoming the best basketball team in the world. And with such a group of athletic players on both the teams who are totally used to winning, EiffelTowers Den Bosch, just like the Regal FC Barcelona, could soon become the team for others to follow.
We already know that the overall team budget of the Regal FC Barcelona in around 25 million while that of the EiffelTowers Den Bosch in around 2.5 million. Thus, the budget of the Regal FC Barcelona is 10 times that of the EiffelTowers Den Bosch. From this point of view it will be a little difficult for the EiffelTowers Den Bosch to reach the level attained by Regal FC Barcelona immediately. But it is definitely not impossible. EiffelTowers Den Bosch also needs to open the Basketball school as fast as possible so that young players can be trained. Although it is not going to be an easy job going up to the level reached by Regal FC Barcelona, the EiffelTowers Den Bosch have improved a lot in the recent years and the predictions made for the team have been more in their favor than being against them.
To come to par with FC Barcelona Bàsquet, EiffelTowers Den Bosch not only need to gain more experience but also develop the talent in the younger players. In order to stimulate the general basketball foundation programs in Netherlands the younger Dutch players need to be encouraged and motivated so that they do not loose their dreams and hopes of making it to a big tem like EiffelTowers Den Bosch. Although there are a huge number of junior teams and youth teams in Netherlands that do play basketball, there are not too many summer camps for the players like in Spain which helps the players over there. More skills need to be developed among the younger players at the lower levels too. Unlike in Spain there is also a lack of accessibility to proper gymnasiums in Netherlands.
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