Smoove: “I made my debut at the Harlem Globetrotters the day Kobe died”

Smoove: “I made my debut at the Harlem Globetrotters the day Kobe died”

It was 2003, in Slobozhanske, a small town in Ukraine, when Dmitry, a 13-year-old boy, first saw the famous Nike ad, “Freestyle”. “Wow, I must do this as well!”, he said back then. Five years later, in 2008, Smoove crossed the border with Romania to take part, as a freestyler, in what was to be his first international competition, Sport Arena Streetball. At the beginning of the same year, the Harlem Globetrotters made their debut in the United States. We’ve learnt the story of Dmitry Krivenko on Sport Arena Streetball…

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With man down since the group stage, Riga Ghetto Basket scores a 3-men win at Bucharest Challenger and secures maiden World Tour Masters appearance

With man down since the group stage, Riga Ghetto Basket scores a 3-men win at Bucharest Challenger and secures maiden World Tour Masters appearance

“We won the Bucharest Challenger and qualified for the Masters in Luasanne. We’re all in pain, but that’s what happened here. It’s a huge joy, you’ve seen the celebration. We also had chance on our side, it was fantastic” an ecstatic Agnis Cavars revealed, just seconds after the icon University Square in Bucharest witnessed four Latvians unleash. They screamed their hearts out, jumped like crazy and then collapsed on court, as if they were about to draw their pairs of wings, just like children do in the snow. Riga Ghetto…

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Big Bas’ squad beats the drum at Bucharest Challenger

Big Bas’ squad beats the drum at Bucharest Challenger

The Netherlands will be represented for the first time at the 2016 edition of the Bucharest Challenger, just like Greece. Holland has barely finished celebrating the fantastic performance acquired by its own players at the mid- June 3×3 Basketball World Championship in France. Having never achieved significant results at any 5×5 basketball major tournaments, but with a keen desire to perform well in team-sports outside the football field, the Netherlands has crafted a national strategy. The Federation started to invest heavily in 2007 in several projects dedicated to children and…

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Romania’s Big 3. Bucharest Legends take on the world’s 3×3 giants

Romania’s Big 3. Bucharest Legends take on the world’s 3×3 giants

Those are players who have carried Romanian basketball on their shoulders for the last two decades, at the highest level, whether they were playing for the national team or at club level. Virgil Stănescu is the most iconic Romanian basketball player since 1989, having put together good seasons in the most powerful European championships and served as captain for the national team for almost two decades. Paul Helcioiu, winner of the FIBA Eurochallenge Cup back in 2005 with Asesoft Ploiești, was also a key-player for Romania’s national team. Mihai Paul…

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Sent by the Gods of Athens: Don Poly makes its Challenger debut in Bucharest

Sent by the Gods of Athens: Don Poly makes its Challenger debut in Bucharest

Greece sends a team to Bucharest Challenger for the first time. From the City of Gods right to “Kilometer Zero” of the Romanian Capital, here come three Greeks and one Serbian guy! Petros Melissaratos, Nikos Tsiokos and Thanasis Chanias-Pantazis, ranked 5th, 6th and 7th among Greek 3×3 players, competed all four tournaments in 2017 alongside Serbia’s Alexander Stevovic, who’s got a 5×5 pro basketball contract in Greece. Don Poly arrives in Bucharest after a first World Tour appearance in Prague (12th place) and three podium finishes in as many tournaments…

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Winnipeg: the win-prone Canadians have experience on their side at the Bucharest Challenger

Winnipeg: the win-prone Canadians have experience on their side at the Bucharest Challenger

Winnipeg Acceleration Performance arrives at the Bucharest Challenger as a finalist of the national tour 3×3 Canada Quest and after having secured a World Tour showing in Saskatoon (12th place, in a contest won by Ljubljana). However, the team is slightly different from Saskatoon, with Darcy Coss (34) and Graham Bodnar (36) joining Wyatt Anders and O’Neal Gordon instead of Jelane Pryce and Matthew Koenig (an entertaining player to watch, enrolled in a special training program to improve detention and dunking skills). Interestingly enough, Bodnar and Coss were Wyatt Anders’s…

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Bordeaux BALListik elite troops target Bucharest Challenger success

Bordeaux BALListik elite troops target Bucharest Challenger success

The sixth largest metropolitan area in France sends its BALListik elite troops to Bucharest Challenger. The mission: to make a name for Bordeaux – other than the home of fine wines. The four “Bordelais” come to Bucharest in an unusual formula: Eddy Steiner, the shortest of the French players, only 1.81 m, sets the traditional core with Charles Albert. The two made a first appearance on the FIBA World Tour last year in Debrecen with a 11th place finish and were forced to recruit two new teammates, as Alex Vialaret…

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Georgia’s “Old School”: four Goliaths shadow rivals at Bucharest Challenger

Georgia’s “Old School”: four Goliaths shadow rivals at Bucharest Challenger

Tbilisi sends its own “Old School” to Bucharest Challenger, to compete with Bogdan Sandu & Co, aka Romania’s “Old School”. Even though they have not played together all the time this season, the four basketball players coming to Bucharest via Istanbul have a fantastic record in the season: they have never failed to reach the semis in any of the tournaments they have signed in for and the team is now on a roll, with three consecutive wins – including the 2017 3×3 finale in Georgia. Richard Matiashvili has no…

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Bucharest Littles, the new kids on the block trying to make a name for themselves against giants at Bucharest Challenger

Bucharest Littles, the new kids on the block trying to make a name for themselves against giants at Bucharest Challenger

Bucharest Littles, the team that won the U23 category at the first European 3×3 basketball league (3×3 Veranda League by Fitbit), is testing the ground and trying to measure up to the “top guns” at Bucharest Challenger. Still working on making the full transition between junior and Open senior competitions, the former Romanian 3×3 junior national team players are hungry for results and experience. Alexandru Coconea, the Mainea twins (Ștefan-Daniel and Cristian) and Luca Paraschiv team up in an unusual formula, before joining their  5×5 League teams for the new…

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C’mon, Zemun! Serbia’s shot at Bucharest Challenger: they’ve taken down both Novi Sad and Ljubljana in 2017 finals

C’mon, Zemun!  Serbia’s shot at Bucharest Challenger: they’ve taken down both Novi Sad and Ljubljana in 2017 finals

Serbia, the strongest nation in the 3×3 FIBA World Federation Rankings, sends eight players altogether for the Bucharest Challenger (August 12-13). Yet, with Novi Sad Al Wadha playing for the United Arab Emirates, only four of them will fly the Serbian flag. Together, they are Zemun. When it comes to men’s 3×3 basketball, Serbia’s supremacy is quite impressive: the leading nation has almost twice as many points as the 4th ranked Netherlands and about 5 million points more than 2nd  place, Slovenia (based on the individual points won by each…

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