Dear basketball friends,
It is with great pride that Euroleague Basketball and adidas welcome you to the 14th edition of an event that celebrates our clubs and all the often-unseen work they do in promoting our great sport among young people.
In its second decade, the adidas Next Generation Junior Tournament does more than crown a champion from among the best 18-and-under teams on the continent. Over the course of five months in four countries or more every year, the Tournament stands as a symbol of the dedication that Euroleague Basketball's family of clubs have to enriching our sport by perpetuating the values that make basketball great.
While the adidas Next Generation Junior Tournament is certainly a showcase of fantastic talent, it also serves as a unique vehicle for transferring values such as team spirit, commitment, respect, sacrifice, fair play and humility from one generation to the next.
Our clubs teach those values every day in their youth programs to thousands of children and teenagers. Some of those youngsters will someday thrill us as professionals, but all will learn the values and enjoyment of basketball thanks to the dedication of our clubs.
What the Tournament adds to those efforts is a solid platform that lets teenagers from every corner of Europe and often completely distinct backgrounds come together not only to compete, but to understand that their shared passion for basketball make them more alike than different from each other.
To introduce basketball to children and develop them as players is a noble mission and the rewards for our sport are many: the improvement in the quality of play; the promotion of lifelong healthy living; the advancement of teaching and learning techniques; and the commitment to local communities that is at the heart of Euroleague Basketball's mission.
The adidas Next Generation final tournament serves to reward both clubs and young players for their hard work with a one-of-a-kind event that has become a central part of the best weekend in world basketball, the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four, celebrated this season in Berlin, Germany.
Euroleague Basketball is strongly committed to growing basketball across Europe, a commitment inspired by the passion of the many clubs, organizations and institutions that are the true motors of the sport. On behalf of Euroleague Basketball, I thank all of them profoundly, but especially now Stellazzurra Basketball Academy Rome, with whom we have been collaborating on these shared objectives for many years.
Likewise, our appreciation goes out to adidas for its commitment to youth basketball, the future of our sport.
Because of all these contributors, our talented young players can take the stage now as the real protagonists of the Next Generation qualifying tournaments. The devotion that defines our game is alive in them, and we are proud to call them part of the Euroleague Basketball family, now and in the future.
President and CEO, Euroleague Basketball