Kaunas Sports Hall hosted the celebration to commemorate the 90-year anniversary of Lithuanian basketball on Sunday. On that special evening, the arena was packed with famous names – from the Lithuanian Basketball Federation (LKF) President Arvydas Sabonis and his counterparts from Latvia, Estonia, Georgia and other national federations to the FIBA General Secretary Nar Zanolin himself and many others, devoted to Lithuanian basketball – basketball veterans, coaches, referees, organizers and politicians.
“I want to congratulate everyone with the 90-year anniversary of Lithuanian basketball and also thank you all for gathering here, in Kaunas Sports Hall, which has witnessed every little detail from the 1939 European Basketball Championship to Zalgiris winning Euroleague. I want to thank sports veterans, coaches, referees, organizers and fans for their input in the creation of the rich history and spreading the word about Lithuania around the world. I would like to wish everyone to be healthy and to continue their tireless work for Lithuanian basketball with just as much effort,” said Arvydas Sabonis in Kaunas.
“90 years is a very honourable anniversary. It is quite a lot, but, at the same time, not that much. Basketball has always been and will always remain as a Lithuanian symbol to youth, pride and energy,” Andrius Kubilius, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, spoke.
The guests of the celebration saw a four-part historic film about the history of Lithuanian basketball, as well as video greetings from the FIBA President Yvan Mainini, the General Secretary Patrick Baumann, the Honorary President Borislav Stankovic, the FIBA Europe General Secretary Nar Zanolin, the NBA commissioner David Stern, the Spanish Basketball Federation President Jose Luiz Saez, the Latvian Basketball Federation President Valdis Voins and the Euroleague CEO Jordi Bertomeu. The spectators gave an especially warm response to the greeting by Mr. Voins, who addressed everyone in Lithuanian.