A basketball statue was unveiled in Debrecen on the 1st of July, 2023 and donated to the city by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).

The sculpture expresses the International Basketball Federation’s gratitude to Debrecen for the high quality of the world basketball events of recent years, including the ongoing U19 Men’s World Championship.

FIBA presents this statue as a token of appreciation to Debrecen, the first city in the world to host the World Youth Championship three years in a row,” said Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Secretary General, at the presentation ceremony on Saturday.

Mayor of Debrecen László Papp said he was proud to be a member of FIBA, which has 210 national basketball federations. “This is the recognition of the whole world for Debrecen, based on 15 years of successful cooperation with FIBA,”  he said. 

Deputy Mayor of Debrecen Diána Széles stressed that it is the work of many people that Debrecen is now the venue for one or more prestigious international basketball events every year.

“We have been in such close contact with the international federation for more than 10 years that if Debrecen bids for a world junior event or a 3×3 basketball event, we always get support from FIBA. This is a tribute to the work of so many cooperating partners,” she added. 

The ceremony was also attended by basketball legend Dirk Nowitzki, who came to the city for the U19 Men’s Basketball World Championship in Debrecen.

“I just arrived yesterday, so I haven’t seen much of the city and the country yet, but I’m having a great time. I was at the game yesterday, and the atmosphere was great,”  the eight-time NBA champion, eight-time All-Star and European Championship silver medallist with the Dallas Mavericks said.

The FIBA commissioned Spanish sculptor Andrés Lasanta to create the statue, who designed a stylised basketball nearly two metres high, with two palms holding it in between. The steel alloy sculpture captures the pre-shot motion when the shooting hand and the supporting hand lift the basketball into the air. The sculpture was erected in front of the sports complex on Oláh Gábor Street.

Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu

Author: Debrecen4U