This year's Eurobasket – European men's basketball championship will take place in Poland from the 7th till the 20th of September. It will be hosted by seven cities – Gdansk, Poznan, Warszawa, Wroclaw, Bydgoszcz, Lodz and Katowice. The lineups will include such players as Marko Jaric, Marc Gasol, Chris Kaman, Marcin Gortat or Hidayet Turkoglu. It is also possible that superstars Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol will join their national teams. The situation of former NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker is still up in the air – although he has already committed to the French team, he will first have to help them win the additional qualifying round in August.
The teams that will meet in Gdansk are ones of the best in the World – Germany, the defending champion – Russia and Latvia. On the 31st of August they will be joined by one of France, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal, Finland and Belgium. For three days, beginning on the 7th of September all visitors will be able to see two games per day.
The tournament was originally set to take place in the new arena situated on the border of the Cities of Gdansk and Sopot. Recently the venue has been changed – the players will now have the chance to experience the unique atmosphere of the Olivia Hall. Built in the 1970s as a hockey venue, the arena is still the home of GKS Stoczniowiec Gdansk hockey team but is also used for conferences, concerts and Asseco Prokom Trefl Sopot's basketball games. The Olivia Hall with its facade designed to resemble a wave is one of the most characteristic buildings in the city.
What makes Gdansk unique? Life in Gdansk doesn't end with the games. All visitors have a chance to experience the atmosphere of fighting for freedom – this is the place where Lech Walesa initiated the fall of communism. This is also the place where the Second World War started – the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of this historical event will take place right before Eurobasket 2009 – on the 1st of September. The leaders of the countries that were in the anti-Nazi coalition will be among the participants. It is confirmed that the city was already functioning in 997. Now, 1012 years later, the city allows the visitors to see world famous monuments like St. Mary's Church – the largest brick church in the world. If someone isn't keen on history or architecture, he can relax on a sunny beach, visit a stylish restaurant or a local pub. People living an active life can spend the nights dancing in one of the city's many clubs and the days surfing or riding bikes along the shore.
Google Maps location of Gdansk, Poland:
Official website: www.gdansk.pl
In case of any questions concerning the City of Gdansk and Eurobasket 2009 in Gdansk, please contact Piotr Pietrzak at the Bureau of City Promotion – City Hall in Gdansk p.pietrzak(at)gdansk.gda.pl