Latvia Rumors

Eurohoops reported it since Saturday and today FIBA Europe announced it at Madrid. Croatia (Zagreb), France (Montpellier), Germany (Berlin) and Latvia (Riga) will co-host EuroBasket 2015 getting one group of the first phase each and France will also host the final round at Lille in the modified football stadium of the city with a total 28.000 seats capacity. Tony Parker and company will have the chance to defend in their home country the European champions title which was won last year.
Madrid will announce EuroBasket 2015 hosts on September 8. Croatia, France, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Israel and Turkey are on the list of possible host countries. The Board of FIBA Europe decided to relocate 2015 EuroBasket from Ukraine. The decision has been officially announced earlier. The situation in Ukraine has not changed drastically in the last months so the decision seemed inevitable.
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Utah Jazz center Andris Biedrins has decided not to represent Latvia this summer at Eurobasket in Slovenia. Hot on the heels of Latvia’s success at the under-20 Sportland European Championships, the men’s squad assembled for training camp last Thursday with Biedrins’ name crossed out as absent. The 27-year-old then confirmed to Latvian sports outlet ‘basket.lv’ that he will be spending this summer focusing on rejuvenating his NBA career with the Jazz.
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Latvian national team head coach Ainars Bagatskis has announced a 17-strong preliminary squad for EuroBasket 2013 which features the welcome return of the nation’s NBA player. Golden State Warriors center Andris Biedrins, as well as VEF Riga guard Kristaps Janicenoks, who last suited up for the national team at EuroBasket 2009, are included on the list and poised to make their return in a Latvia jersey in September’s big tournament in Slovenia. “I think that if Andris plays at the EuroBasket it will significantly strengthen our team and will also benefit his personal career,” Bagatskis stated.
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Once the marquee event of All-Star Weekend, the NBA’s dunk contest has seen its popularity dip in recent seasons as superstars opt against participating and competitors increasingly rely on gimmicks instead of aerial artistry. Nevertheless, the contest is not without its charms. In the midst of a rather dull 2012 entry in Orlando, Utah Jazz big man Jeremy Evans wowed the crowd at least once on his way to the title. Evans is a great dunker, clearly, and it’d take a lot to beat him in any competition. Surprisingly, though, he was bested by Kristaps Dargais during a recent dunk contest appearance in Riga, Latvia.
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Chase Budinger is of Latvian origin. His grandfather was born in Latvia but moved to the United States during World War II. “I know I have some Latvian blood, close relatives. Although I’ve never been there, the rest of my family did, they have visited the country,” Budinger said in an interview to the Latvian media. “I’ve been too busy to go, but my brother just came from a visit to Latvia a month ago.”
Larry Riley on Andris Biedrins, who Riley clearly expects to have a bounce back season: “I just got off the phone with him [in Latvia], and before we hung up today, I told him, ‘I can notice a difference in your voice.’ It was noticeable. His excitement for the game is back. We have a program in place for him. He’s working with people in regards to strength and conditioning, and as rules allow during the summer, we’ll send an assistant coach [to Latvia] to work with him this summer