Players from Turkish Airlines EuroLeague clubs came together in Barcelona on Wednesday to meet with Euroleague Basketball executives. A wide range of topics was covered, all aimed at making sure that players are fully involved in the ongoing growth of the league.
The first item on the agenda was an overview of last season, followed by an explanation of the competition's structure. The players were then given an insight into the league's financial performance, including the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The processes involved in putting together the game calendar were also explained, followed by a medical report.
The players were also introduced to the development of Euroleague Basketball during recent seasons including a 22% growth in the level of interest in the competition since 2019, with background context on how basketball performs compared with other sports, the results of surveys conducted with fans and the performance of the league's digital platforms.
Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball CEO, was happy to welcome the players to the competition's headquarters, telling them: "The objective of this meeting is to explain what we are doing and why we are doing it, giving you [players] the opportunity to share this information with your teammates. I would like to highlight that despite the difficulties we had last season, we keep on working together to bring once again the best and most exciting basketball season to all our fans."
Danilo Barthel of Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul believes it is vital that players have clear lines of communication with the competition's executives, saying: "It's really important that the players from each club meet to discuss different topics and share their opinions, and also get to know the future plans of the EuroLeague, to understand in which direction the league is going."
Players also took part in the annual One Team Workshop to find out more about the great work done by clubs to support their local communities.
ALBA Berlin star Luka Sikma said: "One Team is so important because as athletes, we have a platform that not a lot of people have access to, and to use that to do good in the communities is huge. One Team has grown throughout the years, so it's something that's very important and part of our responsibility as players and clubs to invest back in the communities."
The meeting was also a rare chance for players from all over Europe to gather in the same place to share their opinions on the league.
Panathinaikos OPAP Athens team captain Ioannis Papapetrou explained: "As players we all have respect for each other, and it's nice to come here and discuss some different topics that we don't have time to discuss on gamedays when we usually meet. Some guys are already friends, we know each other and we've been together all these years, and some others are newcomers into this and it's great to spend time with them and get to know them better personally."