Year Gold Silver Bronze Place
2005 Greece Germany France Vrsac; Podgorica; Novi Sad; Belgrade (SCG)
2003 Lithuania Spain Italija Boras, Lulea, Norrköpping, Södertelje, Stockholm (SWE)
2001 Yugoslavia Turkey Spain Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul (TUR)
1999 Italy Spain Yugoslavia Antibes, Clermond-Ferrand, Dijon, Toulouse, Le Mans, Pau, Paris (FRA)
1997 Yugoslavia Italy Russia Gerona, Badalona, Barcelona (ESP)
1995 Yugoslavia Lithuania Croatia Athens (GRE)
1993 Federal Republic of Germany Russia Croatia Berlin, Karlsruhe, Munich (GER)
1991 Yugoslavia Italy Spain Rome (ITA)
1989 Yugoslavia Greece Soviet Union Zagreb (YUG)
1987 Greece Soviet Union Yugoslavia Athens (GRE)
1985 Soviet Union Czechoslovakia Italy Karlsruhe, Leverkusen, Stuttgart (GER)
1983 Italy Spain Soviet Union Limoges, Caen, Nantes (FRA)
1981 Soviet Union Yugoslavia Czechoslovakia Bratislava, Havirov, Prague (TCH)
1979 Soviet Union Israel Yugoslavia Mestre, Siena, Gorizia, Turin (ITA)
1977 Yugoslavia Soviet Union Czechoslovakia Liège, Ostend (BEL)
1975 Yugoslavia Soviet Union Italy Belgade, Split, Karlovac, Rijeka (YUG)
1973 Yugoslavia Spain Soviet Union Badalona, Barcelona (ESP)
1971 Soviet Union Yugoslavia Italy Essen, Böblingen (GER)
1969 Soviet Union Yugoslavia Czechoslovakia Naples, Caserta (ITA)
1967 Soviet Union Czechoslovakia Poland Helsinki, Tampere (FIN)
1965 Soviet Union Yugoslavia Poland Moscow, Tbilisi (URS)
1963 Soviet Union Poland Yugoslavia Wroclaw (POL)
1961 Soviet Union Yugoslavia Bulgaria

Eurobasket History – The 90’s

The end of an era

The beginning of the 1990’s saw major political upheaval across Europe, as communist regimes began to collapse and the iron curtain gradually disintegrated.

The effect of this change on the basketball landscape was profound, as it led to the collapse of the two basketball superpowers, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia were the first to feel the effects of the new political reality at the 1991 European Championship in Rome.

Yugoslavia did not have their full complement of stars as Drazen Petrovic and Stojko Vrankovic were not on the team. But, with Toni Kukoc and Dino Radja at the height of their powers, there was no other team that could challenge them on the court.

Toni Kukoc

Off the court, however, Yugoslavia faced other problems. The war that would go on to split the country had started and its effects were already being felt.

Juri Zdovc was the first casualty.

Slovenia declared independence 2 days into the tournament, and although he had played in both games, Zdovc was ordered not to play any more. Not only that, but he was forced to stay in his hotel room for the remainder of the competition and not

Eurobasket History – The 80’s

A new generation of stars

The 1980’s saw basketball’s talent pool replenished with players who would go on to become legends of the game. Drazen Petrovic, Arvydas Sabonis, Nikos Galis, Detlef Schrempf, Fernando Martin were just some of the names who emerged during the 80’s and brought basketball roaring into the modern era as we know it.

With European players improving at breakneck speed, it was not long before the NBA began to reach out its feelers for international talent. The 1985 European Championship in Germany was the first time that NBA scouts were present en masse to assess Europe’s best players.

They were obviously impressed with what they saw and following the championship Rik Smits (NED), Detlef Schrempf (GER), Fernando Martin (ESP), Georgi Glouchov (BUL) and Uwe Blab (GER) all went to the USA to pursue NBA careers.

Western breakthrough

The slow rise of Western Europe as a haven for basketball’s best teams continued in the 80’s. While the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia still dominated the top of the podium, Italy and Spain made the breakthrough to the top echelon in Europe while Greece, led by Nikos Galis and Panagiotis Yiannakis spearheaded a golden era in Greek basketball.


Eurobasket History – The 40’s

The post-war years

The Second World War had had a huge impact on Europe. Not only were many countries facing huge economic difficulties, but the map had changed and notably, Lithuania and Latvia the championship’s first winners, had been annexed to the Soviet Union.

FIBA wanted to organise a European Championship in 1945 and hoped to use sport as part of Europe’s healing process. Unfortunately most national federations had disappeared and the majority of the players had been conscripted into the armed forces.

Nonetheless, in 1946 FIBA chose Switzerland as the host and the European Championship came back to Geneva.

The First Jump Shot?

The 1946 championship was a landmark in the participation of Italy’s Giuseppe Stefanini. Not only was he on of Europe’s top players, but the first to employ the jump-shot as an offensive weapon.

1953 European Championship action - Soviet Union vs Hungary
The Soviet Union made a dramatic entrance on the European hoops scene in the 1940’s

Other than Stefanini, the other outstanding player of the era was Czechoslovakia’s Harold Mrazek. The 193cm center was still considered to be the best European player of all-time 15 years after the 1946 championship, in which he led his side to the gold medal.Enter the Behemoths


Eurobasket History – The 50’s

The Soviet Dynasty

The Soviets established an almost total control over European basketball in the 1950’s. they won 4 out of 5 European Championships and finished third in 1955. Their overall tally in the decade was played 49, won 47, lost 2. Both losses came in the 1955 championship.

Stipas Butautas was the Soviet’s top scorer in the 1951 championship, but it was in the height department where they really outmatched their opponents. In 1955, the 214 cm center Vladimir Krumminch made his debut in an era when most centers just about reached the 2 metre mark.

214 cm Soviet center Vladimir Krumminch dwarfed most of his opponents

Krumminch cannot be compared to the athletic 7-footers running the floor today, but his size was certainly intimidating. By 1959, the Soviets had Krumminch, the 208cm  Petrov, 204 cm Zubkov and the 201 cm Volnov and Korneev and the result was complete dominance.The Great Outdoors

Most of post-war Europe was still in a re-building phase and that posed problems for an indoor sport such as basketball. Other than the 1951 championship, each of the remaining tournaments were held in football stadiums as there were no indoor facilities able to host basketball.

Eurobasket History – The 70’s


If Yugoslavia had been nipping at the Soviets’ heels in the 60’s, in the 70’s they tore a huge chunk out of their dominance. After the decade was over Yugoslavia had won 3 gold medals, to 2 for the Soviets and established themselves as Europe’s premier force.

The battle for supremacy began at the 1970 World Championships. Yugoslavia was the home nation and emerged with the first major title in the country’s history, but the win came with a slight asterisk. The format of the competition was round robin in the final round and although Yugoslavia topped the standings with a 5-1 record, their only loss was to the Soviets, 72-87.

The battle resumed at the 1971 Europeans in West Germany. Mirko Novosel, who would go on to become head coach of the side, made his debut as an assistant and on the court, Cosic was still the star.

Soviet star Sergey Belov collected a lot of European Championship in his career

Both sides cruised through the tournament undefeated and met in the finals. For most of the game it seemed as though Yugoslavia would finally beat their nemesis, but it was not to be. Cosic, who

Eurobasket History – The 60’s

A New Competition System

Until 1961, the European Championship was open to any country who wished to register. The result was that more and more teams wanted to play and the competition was becoming difficult to organise.

In 1961, FIBA decided to reduce the number of participants in the final round to 16. The decision came into effect at the 1963 tournament in Wroclaw, Poland. Registration was still open to anybody, but qualification rounds would be held to determine the final 16.

Another innovation came in the 1965 championship, which for the first time was held in different cities. The Soviet Union was the host and they proposed to split the preliminary rounds between Tiblisi and Moscow. The system proved to be a success and was adopted on a regular basis in the following championships.

Alexander Gomelski masterminded Soviet dominance in the 1960’s

The First Modern Championship

The 1967 European Championship is considered to be the first of the modern age. It was hosted in Finland in Tampere and Helskinki.

It was the first time that the international media were in attendance and games were televised across Europe. The Finns organised an excellent tournament which in many ways, set the

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