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FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Trophy Tour brings out the crowds in sunny Ukraine

KYIV (FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Trophy Tour) – Sunny skies greeted the FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Trophy Tour in Kyiv and Rivne, Ukraine over the weekend.

Ukraine was the fourth stop on the Tour, with activities taking place from April 28 to May 2, in the capital city Kyiv, and Rivne, the home city of former Ukrainian basketball player Serhiy Lishchuk.

Lishchuk was on hand to welcome the Nikolai Semashko Trophy, and was joined by two-time NBA champion Slava Medvenenko.

"For me it was an incredible day and for my kids, and all the kids who play basketball here in this region," explained an enthusiastic Lishchuk.

They were words mirrored by Alexander Protsiuk, President of Basketball in the Rivne Region. "[Having the trophy here] is the best motivation for our young players. I think it's the first time for us having an international event here and we believe that can help increase the development of our region."

The stop in Rivne included a trip to Lishchuk's old school for a basketball game, before moving on to Kyiv, for a photoshoot in the famous city's most iconic locations. The trophy was also on display during the Finals of the Ukrainian Superleague, with fans forming a long line to have their photo with the silverware, as well as the ever-present FIBA EuroBasket 2017 official mascot, Sam Dunk.

"The Trophy Tour is a great event and a good opportunity to remind people that basketball exists in their country and is continually developing," commented Vice-Secretary General of the Ukraine Basketball Federation, Arsenii Vadis. "Such an event, like the Trophy Tour, increases the interest for the upcoming season and this is very important for us."

Lishchuk was also happy to offer his thoughts on how he believes Ukraine will play this summer. "It will be a tough tournament for our team, because we have a tough group. But I believe that if they play it with their hearts and with their heads, they can pass the Group Phase, and then we will see."

The FIBA EuroBasket 2017 Trophy Tour on May 6 with a two-day trip to Poland, taking in stops in Wloclawek and Warsaw.