Nike International Junior Tournament format announced

One of the highlights of the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four weekend in Milan is completely set for another year of excitement after the venues, schedule and teams for the 2014 Euroleague Basketball Nike International Junior Tournament were announced on Tuesday.

The 12th annual NIJT that decides the European junior club champion, will take place from Thursday, May 15 to Sunday, May 18, 2014 in Milan. The first 12 games of the tournament – four on each of the first three days – will take place at the Tensostruttura Lido. On Sunday, the NIJT title game will be disputed on the same Mediolanum Forum court where later that night the Turkish Airlines Euroleague champion will also be crowned.

Four teams – Crvena Zvezda Telekom Belgrade of Serbia, Cajasol Seville and Real Madrid of Spain, and Zalgiris Kaunas of Lithuania – made it to Milan after having won one of the four NIJT qualifying tournaments held between December and February.

They will be joined by last season’s champion, Club Joventut Badalona of Spain, Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul of Turkey, Team Brazil – the first South American participant in the NIJT – and hometown representative Armani Junior Milan of Italy.

Apart from its reputation as the world’s best showcase for junior basketball talent, the NIJT has proven itself to be great and unpredictable entertainment over the years. Joventut’s title last season made it the fifth different team to hoist the trophy in the last five tournaments, following FMP Belgrade of Serbia in 2009, INSEP Paris of France in 2010, Zagreb Croatia Osiguranje of Croatia in 2011 and Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius of Lithuania in 2012.

As always entrance to all games of the Euroleague Basketball Nike International Junior Tournament is completely free of charge, which allows local and visiting fans to be the first to see many of the upcoming elite talents in European club basketball compete against each other, all in the same place.

“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,” Euroleague Basketball President and CEO Jordi Bertomeu said. “The NIJT 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 Milan, Italy.”

As the place where future stars are born, the NIJT alumni club is already a who’s who of European basketball greatness. Many players who participated in previous events can be seen on Turkish Airlines Euroleague and Eurocup rosters, including Mirza Begic (Olympiacos Piraeus), Nihad Dedovic (FC Bayern Munich), Mario Hezonja (FC Barcelona), Mantas Kalnietis (Lokomotiv Kuban Krasnodar), Jonas Maciulis (Panathinaikos Athens), Milan Macvan (Galatasaray Liv Hospital Istanbul), Nikola Mirotic (Real Madrid), Dejan Musli (Partizan NIS Belgrade) and Milos Teodosic (CSKA Moscow).

Here is the full schedule for the 2014 Euroleague Basketball Nike International Junior Tournament in Milan.

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at Tensostruttura Lido

09:00 CRVENA ZVEZDA TELEKOM BELGRADE vs. CAJASOL SEVILLE

11:00 CLUB JOVENTUT BADALONA vs. TEAM BRAZIL

13:00 ARMANI JUNIOR MILAN vs. ZALGIRIS KAUNAS

15:00 REAL MADRID vs. FENERBAHCE ULKER ISTANBUL

Friday, May 16, 2014 at Tensostruttura Lido

09:00 CRVENA ZVEZDA TELEKOM BELGRADE vs. CLUB JOVENTUT BADALONA

11:00 CAJASOL SEVILLE vs. TEAM BRAZIL

13:00 ARMANI JUNIOR MILAN vs. REAL MADRID

15:00 ZALGIRIS KAUNAS vs. FENERBAHCE ULKER ISTANBUL

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Tensostruttura Lido

09:00 CLUB JOVENTUT BADALONA vs. CAJASOL SEVILLE

11:00 TEAM BRAZIL vs. CRVENA ZVEZDA TELEKOM BELGRADE

13:00 REAL MADRID vs. ZALGIRIS KAUNAS

15:00 FENERBAHCE ULKER ISTANBUL vs. ARMANI JUNIOR MILAN

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at Mediolanum Forum

12:00 1st PLACE GROUP A vs. 1st PLACE GROUP B

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