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FIBA Europe's TIME-OUT project reaches pinnacle with graduation at House of Basketball

MIES, Switzerland - The graduation ceremony for FIBA Europe's TIME-OUT project took place at FIBA's headquarters on Friday evening.

Of the 75 students graduating, 56 were present at the House of Basketball, where they received their certificates from an illustrious list of sporting officials and academic mentors, including: FIBA Europe President and FIBA Vice-President Turgay Demirel; FIBA Executive Director Europe Kamil Novak; TIME-OUT Board Chairman Asterios Zois; Professor Fraser McLeay and Doctor Edita Petrylaite representing Northumbria University; and Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) Athlete Administrator Lynda Dunn.

TIME-OUT was launched as a one-off program at FIBA Women's EuroBasket 2017, when FIBA Europe and its national federations unveiled the initiative to assist elite basketball players at the end of their playing careers across Europe make the transition from sport into work. This came on the back of recommendations by the European Commission on dual careers and the reintegration of professional sportspersons into the labor market.

All 75 students succeeded in their undertaking of the FIBA Manager Qualification course, while 29 of them also performed with flying colors in the Talented Athlete Lifestyle Support (TALS) from TASS.

A total of 50 graduated at different levels from a Newcastle Business School course in Leadership and Management from Northumbria University. Of them, at least 25 will look to pursue masters degrees from the university.

Mr Demirel said: "With this unique degree, we believe you have in your hands the tools for you to make your transition into your next professions and we hope that for the majority of you it will be in the field of basketball, as you work with us at FIBA and your federations to contribute to the growth and health of basketball in Europe and further abroad. Congratulations to all of you and good luck as you take on this next exciting step in your professional careers."

Mr Novak said: "Even if this began as a dream, it was one with an ultimate goal, one that has not only been met but well and truly surpassed. This has been in large part thanks to the fantastic support we have received from our project partners - Northumbria University, the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), the University of Physical Education in Budapest, the International Basketball Foundation (IBF), the national federations of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia and Slovenia and the European Union's Erasmus Plus."

Graduate Kieron Achara of Scotland said: "It's been a great journey for 14 months. I didn't know what I was coming into to start and it's been very challenging at times but the connections I've made here, the friendships I've built here and the learning, it's all been a phenomenal ride and I really hope in the future there's some other opportunities for other participants because I know it's been very beneficial to my career."

Graduate Anna Barthold of Sweden said: "We can all sum it up in one word really - amazing. I think everybody here is grateful for having been a part of this experience. It's been a year full of challenges and hard work but when it comes down to it, it's been eye-opening for all of us." 

56 students present at the graduation ceremony
Kieron Achara (SCO) Gulsah Akkaya (TUR) Anna Barthold (SWE) Gergana Branzo Erdenay (BUL)
Iva Brkic (ex-Ciglar) (CRO) Svenja Brunckhorst (GER) Edouard Choquet (FRA) Kaspars Cipruss (LAT)
Stefanie Lyn Collins (WAL)  James Dawe (WAL)  Makan Dioumassi (FRA)  Gabor Denes (HUN)
 Nicolas Dos Santos (SUI)  Elvira Dushku (KOS)  Robert Fultz (ITA)  Kenneth Grant (SWE)
 Patrycja Gulak-Lipka (POL)  Meagan Hoffman (IRL)  Katalin Honti (HUN)  Yasemin Horasan (TUR)
 Anete Jekabsone-Zogota (LAT)  Ville Kaunisto (FIN)  Aristides Koronides (CYP)  Natasa Kovacevic (SRB)
 Gintaras Leonavicius (LTU)  Raffaella Masciadri (ITA)  Stanislav Medvedenko (UKR)  Nikita Morgunov (RUS)
 Guy Muya (BEL)  Nadia Mossong (LUX)  Bostjan Nachbar (SLO)  Sandro Nicevic (CRO)
Colin O'Reilly (IRL) Julie Page (ENG) Nuno Perdigao (POR) Daniela Peteva (BUL)
 Andrew Pleick (SWE)  Eugeniu Pogorelov (MDA)  Mailis Pokk (EST)  Eugeniu Postolache (MDA)
Pavel Pumprla (CZE) Balázs Simon (HUN) Janar Soo (EST) Katerina Sotiriou (GRE)
Virgil Stanescu (ROU)  Tiina Sten (FIN)  Nina Suritsch (AUT)  Meir Tapiro (ISR)
 Hein Gerd Triemstra (NED)  Karen Twehues (SUI)  Michaela Uhrová (CZE)  Rachael Vanderwal (GBR)
 Fabricio Vay (AUT)  Jovana Vukoje (SRB)  Romana Vynuchalova (SVK)  Ann Wauters (BEL)
3 students graduating but unable to attend the ceremony
 Ermal Kuqo (TUR)  Maria Stepanova (RUS)  Jiri Welsch (CZE)  
16 students due to graduate later in the year
 Povilas Butkevicius (LTU)  Daniel Clark (ENG)  Liron Cohen (ISR)  Katarzyna Dydek (POL)
 Maja Erkic (SLO)  Ilian Evtimov (FRA)  Vassil Evtimov (BUL)  German Gabriel (ESP)
 Michal Ignerski (POL)  Ana Lelas (CRO)  Cindy Lima (ESP)  Maria Florina Pascalau (ROU)
 Sofia Ramalho (POR)  Rok Stipcevic (CRO)  Filip Aleksandrov Videnov (BUL)  Isabelle Yacoubou (FRA)



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