Valdemaras Chomicius and Heino Enden believe that Ukrainian basketball should be represented on the European arena.
Legendary basketball players support appeal of the Basketball Federation of Ukraine to the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to provide the basketball club “Budivelnik” (Kyiv) with a place in the group stage of the FIBA Champions League in the 2022/23 season.
Famous athletes said this in a commentary to UNIAN.
In particular, the Olympic champion, Lithuanian basketball player and coach Valdemaras Chomicius announced his support for the initiative of the Basketball Federation of Ukraine, which turned to the CEO of the FIBA Champions League Patrick Comminos with a request to give “Budivelnik” a place in the group stage of the tournament.
“I support Ukraine in general. I think if there is an opportunity and desire to compete in the European arena, you need to do it.“, – said Homicius.
At the same time, he stressed that he can always support Ukraine, but the decision will depend on FIBA representatives.
However, he appealed to FIBA: “due to the current situation related to the war, if possible, allow “Budivelnik” so that they can represent the country in the basketball world“.
European Champion Heino Enden (Estonia) noted that he supports the provision of the Kyiv basketball club “Budivelnik” with the opportunity to play in the group stage of the FIBA Champions League.
“I think everything is possible if you want it well. There are no problems. You just need people to understand and want. I support 100%, because Budivelnik has a long history. It has always been an elite club in such a basketball country as Ukraine. The club played such players with whom I played – Tkachenko, Belostenny, Volkov, Ryzhov, Shalnev, etc. There have always been good players there and the club has always been at the level, so I think this club deserves a place (in the group stage of the FIBA Champions League – UNIAN)” Enden said.
According to him, given the situation in Ukraine, athletes must somehow inspire their people and therefore Budivelnik should be given a place in the group round.
Also, in his opinion, the Estonians will not mind Budivelnik’s games in the Champions League being held in Estonia, although he does not have information about whether the Ukrainian side appealed to the Estonian side to hold the games in Estonia.
“I think we will help as much as we can“, he noted.
At the same time, the President of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation Vidas Gedvilas also supports giving Budivelnik a place in the group stage of the Champions League.
“I always support Ukraine, but there seems to be a qualifying tournament there. I don’t know, this should be decided by FIBA. I am in favor, but as others think, I do not have a voice there now that could decide something, but we are for their participation. At least they can get through the qualifying tournament“, – said Gedvilas.
At the same time, he said that the Basketball Federation of Ukraine has not yet applied to the Lithuanian with a request to hold Budivelnyk’s home games in Lithuania.