FIBA’s first-ever Mid-Term Congress came to a close today in Hong Kong.

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The two-day meeting brought together delegates from 146 national federations.

The participants voted unanimously in favor of implementing a new headgear rule. They also received updates and approved the activity report which reflects the progress made in furthering FIBA’s four pillars – National Federations Development, New Competition System, New Governance and 3×3 – since the previous congress in August 2014.

The delegates took part in workshops covering the following themes: ‘Maximizing opportunities of the FIBA Qualifiers’, ‘Building the standard development pathway’, ‘Basketball & media in the digital age’ and ‘Everybody can be successful with 3×3’.

FIBA President Horacio Muratore said: “First of all, we wish to thank the Hong Kong Basketball Association for its hospitality and organizing this very important event. Following this Mid-Term Congress, we are definitely a lot closer to our National Member Federations and are a more united basketball family. We are ready to carry on this work until 2019 and look forward to the next two years, especially with the launch of the New Competition System, the Road to China 2019 both of which present great opportunities for our members.”

FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member: “With the extraordinary changes in governance made in 2014, FIBA is progressing very fast. We find ourselves in an environment where it’s a case of ‘change or be changed’ and we definitely want to be in control of our own destiny. The congress has confirmed that we are on the right path and therefore we will continue with the successful implementation of our strategy to make basketball the most popular sports community.”

IOC Vice President Yu Zaiqing said: “FIBA has embraced the spirit of Olympic Agenda 2020, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Olympic Movement. FIBA’s focus on a new inclusive competition system for national teams will broaden the already global appeal of basketball. It will bring the values of sport to more people in more regions around the world. Engaging with youth is another major cornerstone of Olympic Agenda 2020. Also in this respect, FIBA is leading the way by promoting innovative new game formats that have great youth appeal. The unique 3×3 competition format clearly resonates with young people everywhere.”

Dr Carl Men-Ky Ching, Honorary President of FIBA and of the Hong Kong Basketball Association (HKBA) said: “It has been an honor to host the first-ever FIBA Mid-Term Congress. Given Hong Kong’s reputation as a crossroad for many cultures, it was the perfect place to welcome so many friends from around the world. We hope they leave feeling enriched by the experience of this congress and excited to use what they learnt here to keep growing our sport in their respective territories.”

The event concluded with a keynote speech given by Gordon Xie, General Manager of the Marketing Online Media Group for leading global digital company Tencent, a FIBA partner.

Participants spoke highly of the productive activities that took place on Thursday and Friday.

Iceland Basketball Association (KKI) President Hannes Jonsson said: “To have a congress like this and the workshops is a very good formula. The workshops were very useful. In particular the ‘Basketball & media in the digital age’ one was good to get a view of everything that’s happening across social media and digital platforms. And the ‘Maximizing opportunities of the FIBA Qualifiers’ was also very good for us because for sure we have a new era in basketball and this new FIBA Basketball World Cup is going to be fantastic for us.

Federation of Uganda Basketball Association President Ambrose Tashobya: “I’m lucky to have been around FIBA now for over 10 years as the head of a national federation. When I first came into the federation, the level of detachment between FIBA’s highest office and the federation was quite big. Now we are bridging the gap, we are getting better structures in place in the regional offices which is very important. So ONE FIBA is working. It also has its challenges and is a work in progress. We have to keep working on it together. We are one family, we are basketball and we have to do this together.”

At the dinner that brought the curtain down on the event, FIBA awarded certificates of honor to a selection of its National Member Federations in recognition of their hard work in a variety of categories.

The attention now shifts to Guangzhou, which will host the Official Draw Ceremony for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers on Sunday

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