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Newly-appointed FIBA Americas Executive Director Alves excited about the possibilities for growth moving forward
CORDOBA (FIBA AmeriCup 2017) - Newly-appointed FIBA Americas Executive Director Mr. Carlos Alves was on hand to witness the emotion and spectacle of the FIBA AmeriCup 2017 Semi-Finals in Cordoba, Argentina.
He took time to speak to FIBA.basketball to reflect on the tournament, look ahead to November 2017 and the overall state of the game in the Americas.
This is your first competition as FIBA Americas Executive Director, what are your thoughts on the AmeriCup so far?
The execution, the fans, the level, and the quality have been amazing. It is FIBA's mission to develop and promote the game, and this has been a great example. I think in terms of things to improve going forward, you will see us executing more and more events with an elevated quality like this, involving the athletes and delivering an overarching experience for the fans and stakeholders.
What are your objectives as FIBA Americas Executive Director?
Well, first and foremost, as One FIBA, our objective is to develop the game of basketball, promote it throughout the world and get more people to fall in love with our sport. That is why we exist. It presents its own set of challenges that I choose to see as opportunities. Our focus moving forward in developing the youth talents in this zone will increase, as well as making sure that we bring and showcase talent throughout the pipeline all the way to the big stars.
What strengths jump at you when you see the international basketball landscape in the Americas as it was reflected during the AmeriCup?
There are many opportunities for us. The very first one, is that National Federations are at different levels and we have to close that gap, develop and elevate them in order to give them true possibilities for growth. That is a big part of the job and to do it while bringing back the tradition and the culture we have in this zone’s geography, which is an important asset for the Americas.
And what opportunities for growth you see within the region?
Look at the results, Canada just won the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup. That speaks to the possibilities and many opportunities we have for youth development within our region. It goes along with bringing back basketball schools, like they have Argentina and Brazil, with the tradition that they bring to the table. And from a managerial perspective, we just need to elevate the level overall.
The 12 countries that played FIBA AmeriCup 2017 will then compete in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers, along with Bahamas, Chile, Cuba and Paraguay. What are your expectations looking forward to FIBA's new competition system and calendar?
That is a milestone for us as an organization. The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers are fantastic for the fans to celebrate national pride through our sport, because it doesn’t matter if you're from Canada all the way to Chile, they are going to have an opportunity to see their national team play six times at home. That is amazing, unprecedented and puts us in the right place for impact and implementation of the development we need our national federations to go through. This is FIBA’s mission: to put passion to the forefront of the international basketball landscape. This is the biggest opportunity we have: to bring each individual nation to fall in love with our game and experience firsthand the beauty of watching their national team in a road that will eventually end in China 2019.