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A. Krauklė’s 30th memorial basketball tournament will gather a record number of participants – Basketball – Sportacentrs.com

The tournament will take place in Riga from August 19 to 21 in 19 sports halls. Last year, adapting to the conditions of Covid-19, the competition was held on outdoor sports fields.

Young basketball players aged ten to 17 will participate in the competition. The participants will also include three teams of war refugees from Ukraine who have taken refuge in Latvia. In general, teams from seven countries will participate in the tournament this year – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Ukraine. All participants of the competition will be able to visit the Riga National Zoo and the Riga Motor Museum for free.

The finals of the tournament will be held on Sunday, August 21, in two sports halls: for boys in the Rimi Olympic Center, and for girls in the BJBS “Rīga” sports complex “Daugavas Sporta nams”. From 16:00 on TV channel TV24, the final games in two age groups of boys will be shown live throughout Latvia. On the other hand, Latvian sports journalism legend Gunārs Jākobsons will interview the young basketball players during game breaks.

Several basketball players who developed their careers to the professional level and achieved outstanding success have participated in the tournament. For example, the students of A. Krauklias VEF basketball school – Andrzej Pasečniks participated in 28 games in the National Basketball Association (NBA), while Nauris Miezis won the gold medal of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 3×3 basketball.

“The A. Krauklis memorial tournament provides an opportunity to compete in basketball with peers from other countries. I remember fierce battles for medals with young basketball players from Lithuania and Russia. I had to experience painful losses in the finals a couple of times and settle for second place, which served as motivation to train even harder. Participating in the tournament several years in a row, it was interesting to observe who had managed to progress and how much,” Olympic champion Miezis shares his memories.

The organizers invite competition participants to follow the accounts of the A. Krauklė memorial tournament on social networks Facebook (@alfredakrauklacup) and Instagram (akcup_official), where there is and will be information about opportunities to participate in competitions and win prizes. Some of the most active teams have already won free participation in the tournament.

Thanks to our main partners Riga City Council, “Central Laboratory” and SIA “Sēme” for the financial support for organizing the tournament.

About the tournament

Alfrēds Krauklis – a legend of Latvian basketball, an outstanding player of the Latvian men’s national basketball team, coach, pedagogue and role model for young basketball players and coaches. 1939 European Basketball Championship silver medalist.

In 1958, in the VEF sports club, A. Krauklis was a co-author in the founding of the VEF men’s basketball team, being the team’s first coach. In 1961, the Children and Youth Sports School – BJBS VEF was also founded under Kraukl’s leadership. Many new students of the basketball school also added to the VEF men’s master team. When Alfred Krauklis passed away, the management and coaches of BJBS VEF announced to the entire Latvian basketball community that BJBS VEF will be named after him – the Alfred Kraukli VEF basketball school.

The first basketball tournament in memory of A. Krauklis was held in November 1992. A total of 46 teams in 6 boys’ age groups from 5 countries – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine and Russia – participated in it. Since the 25th tournament, girls’ teams have also been participating in the competition. Over the years, the A. Kraukli memorial tournament has become one of the largest children’s basketball tournaments in the Baltics.

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