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CBA-Euroleague Challenge 2007
Quote:In another example of the growing demand for basketball across the globe, Euroleague Basketball, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the international sports marketing company Infront Sports & Media have reached a partnership agreement to bring the best of European professional basketball to fans in Asia. The agreement calls for games, clinics and several other exchanges between the parties, to be highlighted by the first Euroleague Basketball / Team China Tournament, between a Euroleague Basketball team and the Chinese National Basketball Team, in October 2007.

Li Yuanwei, Vice-President of the CBA, welcomes the new development: "We are very happy to have reached this agreement with the Euroleague. The innovative partnership, arranged by our partner Infront, provides us with a base to strengthen the development of the Chinese teams, while gaining access to the proven resources and success of the Euroleague."

"We are excited to join with the CBA and Infront for what promises to be an international basketball partnership of the highest quality," said Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball Chief Executive Officer. "This collaboration agreement will offer us a great opportunity to learn and grow through an exchange of knowledge and ideas among leading basketball specialists. It is a great opportunity to work with these capable partners in bringing our special brand of basketball to a new audience."

"This new Euroleague partnership is about delivering substance for the benefit of basketball in China and goes far beyond a simple press release headline," said John Kristick, Infront's Executive Director Asia. "The key difference is that we are very much focusing on practical programmes to deliver tangible results for both parties," he added.

The agreement has been developed to bring the best possible knowledge and training opportunities to industry specialists through a series of management and coaching clinics organised by the CBA in China. Euroleague Basketball coaches and referees will have the chance to attend such clinics and several invitations will be extended to the CBA to participate in annual Euroleague Basketball events. These events include summer camps, ongoing player development programmes and player scouting programmes.

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Quote:Euroleague Basketball is proud to announce that the CBA-Euroleague Challenge 2007 is going to enjoy truly international coverage thanks to broadcasting agreements signed with Eurosport 2 and CCTV5, the Chinese national television channel that specializes in sports. Eurosport 2 will televise from China to 43 European countries three of the games between Team China, Sydney Kings, CSKA Moscow and Benetton Basket Tamoil on Sunday, September 30 and Monday, October 1. On Sunday, September 30, Eurosport 2 will broadcast the CSKA Moscow vs. Sydney Kings game and put Benetton Basket Tamoil vs. Team China on tape-delay. On Monday, October 1, Eurosport 2 will show CSKA Moscow vs. Team China live.

CCTV5 is the sports channel of China Central Television, China's largest national TV broadcaster. CCTV5 will broadcast live all of Team China's games during the CBA-Euroleague Challenge 2007. It is anticipated that well over 100 million viewers will watch the games in China alone, offering most of them a chance to experience, for the first time ever, Euroleague Basketball in full action.

"We are very proud of the TV coverage that the CBA-Euroleague Challenge 2007 will have as we are aware of the general interest of the fans to watch those games," says Benedikt Von Dohnanyi, Infront Basketball Director. "This is a great step forward and we hope that followers across China and Europe will be able to enjoy some solid basketball from some great teams."

"With these agreements we have reached two goals, bringing the games to the European public by extending our relationship with Eurosport 2 and also giving the possibility to the Chinese audience to follow this pioneer Challenge," said Andrea Bassani, Euroleague Basketball's Director of Television.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2007

CSKA Moscow vs. Sydney Kings

Team China vs. Benetton Tamoil

OCTOBER 1, 2007

Team China vs. CSKA Moscow

Benetton Tamoil vs. Sydney Kings

OCTOBER 2, 2007

Team China vs. Sydney Kings
Quote:His passion for basketball has already taken him almost clear around the world, but that doesn't make All-Euroleague forward Trajan Langdon of CSKA Moscow any less excited about the opportunity to play in the first CBA-Euroleague Challenge in Kunshan, China this week. The chance to show countless millions of basketball fans why CSKA is one of the top clubs in Europe is what motivates Langdon as he readies his first trip to China. "I would never trade the experiences I have had playing in Europe," Langdon told before departing for Shanghai. "It's something that had broadened my horizons in terms of life and that's something I will never forget. To see other cultures like China and create new fans for basketball is another thing to add to that list of great experiences."

You and CSKA are going to play the first preseason games of this kind by European clubs in China. What are your thoughts about such a unique first-time opportunity like this?

"Personally, I have never been to China before, so I just have great expectations of seeing that country. Seeing the people and the culture will definitely be something I'll be looking forward to. I have heard from people who have been there that the Chinese really love basketball and are huge supporters not only of Chinese basketball, but basketball around the world, so of course I will be excited to play in front of the Chinese fans, too."

Do you see it as an opportunity to show the Chinese what European basketball, right now in the middle of a golden era, is all about?

"If the Chinese are such basketball fans as I have heard, I am sure they know something about European basketball already, but seeing it first-hand will be even better. These are our last two games before the Russian League starts and we certainly want to play good basketball there before the fans of China. If we do that, I am sure they will enjoy themselves."

Do you see this these exhibition games in the world's most populated country as another step in the growth of basketball around the world?

"I don't know much about Chinese basketball except that they have a couple players in the NBA. But I have heard from people about both the growth of the Chinese game and the increasing popularity of basketball in China. For us to go from Europe to Asia and help spread the culture of basketball is surely another great step in making the game more popular globally."

CSKA is very much a world team, with guys from three continents at least, like you from Alaska and David Andersen from Australia. As much as any players, you guys must appreciate what it means to have fans in places you probably never thought you would.

"No question about it. I would never trade the experiences I have had playing in Europe, in Italy and Turkey and now Russia. It's something that had broadened my horizons in terms of life and that's something I will never forget. To see other cultures like China and create new fans for basketball is another thing to add to that list of great experiences."

Despite some other big things in your career before this, you might be playing this week in front of your biggest television audience ever. Do you think you'll take a moment and let that sink in while these games are being played?

"When you get on court, you just play, but when you think of it before, it's staggering, both the popularity of basketball in China and just how many people are actually there. It's definitely staggering to think of it, and just makes you look forward to this great opportunity even more."

What would you be most interested in those countless Chinese fans getting from the first close look at Eurolegue Basketball?

"I would just like them to see the ability of talented players from different continents and countries to come together and play with organization and passion for the same goal. We all want to achieve the same thing together, to be the best team we can and to win every game. Maybe a lot of people around the world wouldn't understand that except in the case of national teams. But just like some of the soccer teams in Europe bring together players from around the world with one goal, to win a championships, we also try to show that collective passion, which I think the Chinese fans will be able to see."

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