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Lipik Streetball Tournament 2016 organized under the auspices of FIBA
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  07/7/2016 | Sports , Events , Education | Unrated
Lipik3x3Challenger 2016 organized under the sponsorship from FIBA, the international basketball organisation


Press conference in Lipik, announcing the Lipik3x3Challenger in 2016. Ivan Pušćenik speaking, one of the founders of the Lipik basketball tournament.


 
18 GODINA TURNIRA ULIČNE KOŠARKE U LIPIKU - PRIČA O USTRAJNOSTI, VJERI I OSTVARENU SNOVA

Nenad N. Bach je 2008. godine nakon posjete Lipiku napisao: “Vidjet ćete što će Slavonija postati za narednih 7-10 godina. Hrvati diljem svijeta obratite pozornost i ulažite u Slavoniju. Ovo će biti nova Istra. ..Imate sve što je potrebno da postanete najbogatiji dio Hrvatske…“. Bilo je to prije 8 godina…

Od ratne pustoši do najmanje košarkaške metropole na svijetu

Lipik, grad u Zapadnoj Slavoniji. Ovaj pitoreskni gradić turističke tradicije i aristokratske povijesti, grad poznat po svojim konjima lipicancima, po izvorima pitke i ljekovite vode, grad koji je prije četvrt stoljeća proživio i preživio sve strahote ratnog razaranja, ovog će ljeta biti u središte ne samo hrvatske, nego i europske i svjetske sportske javnosti.

Priča o turniru u uličnoj košarci koji se u Lipiku održava 17 godina u nizu dobila je najljepši mogući epilog i Lipik će sa svojih 6.170 stanovnika ove godine postati najmanja košarkaška metropola na svijetu!

Razlog je što će u Lipiku 8. i 9. srpnja biti održan Malbée Lipik 3x3 Challenger 2016., međunarodni spektakl u 3x3 uličnoj košarci, kao dio World tour serije, a pod direktnim patronatom FIBA-e, krovne svjetske košarkaške organizacije.

Stasus Challengera i povjerenje koje je ukazala FIBA stiglo je kao rezultat dugogodišnjeg predanog rada mladih ljudi koji su prije 17 godine, točnije u ljeto 1999. godine, vođeni idejom obogaćivanja tada praktički mrtvog društvenog života, odlučili organizirati prvi turnir u uličnoj košarci. Vjerojatno ni oni sami nisu ni slutili da će 18 godina kasnije njihova priča obići i zadiviti svijet.

Lipik uz bok Moskve, Sao Paola, Buenos Airesa…

Prije nego ukratko zaronimo u povijest lipičkog turnira, treba reći da status Challengera ove godine ima samo 14 gradova u svijetu. Ako znamo da se Challengeri ove godine organiziraju još u Moskvi (11,9 milijuna stanovnika), brazilskom Sao Paolu (11,3 mil.), kineskom Chengdu (4,3 mil.), katarskoj Dohi (796,000), argentinskom Buenos Airesu (3 mil.), rumunjskim gradovima Bukureštu (1,9 mil.) i Sibiju (426.000), malezijskom Penangu (1,7 mil.), Abu Dhabiu (860.000), danskom Kopenhagenu (562.000), nizozemskom Den Haagu (495.000), estonskom Talinu (408.000) i švicarskom Luganu (55.600), s pravom možemo reći da je Lipik uistinu najmanja košarkaška destinacija na svijetu.

Uspoređujući s ostalim sportskim događanjima u Hrvatskoj, možemo slobodno konstatirati kako su FIBA Challengeri 3x3 košarke u ovoj grani sporta, u rangu skijaške „Snježne kraljice“ u Zagrebu ili teniskog ATP turnira u Umagu.

Prema istraživanju Međunarodnog olimpijskog odbora, 3x3 ulična košarka je najbrže rastući i trenutno najpopularniji i najrasprostranjeniji urbani sport na svijetu s gotovo 100.000 službeno registriranih igrača na svijetu i s tendencijom da ovaj sport 2020. godine postane i olimpijski sport.

Ističemo to iz razloga što ova gotovo nevjerojatna sportsko – društvena priča o Challengeru u Lipiku dobiva dodatnu dimenziju zbog ekipa koje će ovog ljeta zaigrati u Lipiku.

Ekipe iz Francuske, Španjolske, Rusije, Litve, Italije, Poljske, Srbije, Slovenije,  Hrvatske…

Od ukupno 16 ekipa, do sada je potvrđeno da će u Lipiku igrati dvije ekipe iz Slovenije i jedna iz Srbije. Uz njih potvrđeno je da će u Lipiku nastupiti i najbolje ekipe iz Francuske (Pariz), Španjolske (Malaga), Rusije (St. Petersburg), Litve (Vilnius), Italije (Modena), Poljske (Kolobrzek) što praktički znači da će na ovom turnir nastupiti više od 20 igrača koji su trenutno u svjetskom Top 50!

Službeni interes za nastupom na našem turniru su iskazale i najbolje ekipe iz Njemačke, Austrije, Ukrajine, Nizozemske, Bosne i Hercegovine, Estonije, čak i ekipa iz Brazila (Sao Paolo). Osim što je jedini grad u Hrvatskoj s ovim statusom, Lipik je jedini grad na području ovog dijela Europe koji ima status Challengera što dodatno dobiva na vrijednosti ako se zna da se trenutno najbolja ulična 3x3 košarka igra upravo u ovom dijelu Europe.

Turnirom do novih pobjeda

A sve je krenulo u ljeto 1999. godine sa klupe u lipičkom parku gdje je tada grupa mladih ljudi, teenagera, uz druženje i razgovor smišljala način kako napredovati dalje. Ratna razaranja iz 1991. godine ostavila su golem trag na ovom nekad prekrasnom turističkom mjestu koje je u bivšoj državi slovilo za najpoželjniju kontinentalnu turističku destinaciju. Lipik je prvi oslobođeni grad u Domovinskom ratu i grad koji je pretrpio ogromnu materijalu štetu. Grad u kojem su mladi ljudi žrtvovali svoje živote u stvaranju slobodne Hrvatske. Stanovništvo se brojčano prepolovilo, društvene aktivnosti praktički i nije bilo, a samim time ni sadržaja za mlade. Ivan Pušćenik, tada 20-godišnjak, odlučio je da s prijateljima organizira turnir u uličnoj košarci na igralištu tadašnjeg Doma za nezbrinutu djecu. Istog onog doma kojeg je u rekordnom vremenu godine 1993., zajedno s pripadnicima britanskog bataljuna UNPROFOR-a i mnogobrojnim sponzorima širom svijeta obnovio britanski časnik Mark Cook.

U prvim godinama turnir je bio oblik zabave i druženja isključivo za lokalno stanovništvo Lipika i četiri kilometra udaljenog Pakraca. S vremenom su na turnir počele pristizati ekipe iz okolnih gradova. Najprije Daruvara, pa potom i Bjelovara, Požege, Kutine, Novske, zatim i iz Varaždina, Čakovca, Zagreba, Osijeka. Velikim se uspjehom smatralo kada je godine 2006. u Lipiku zaigrala ekipa iz Splita, kasniji svjetski vice prvaci u 3x3 košarci.

Od 2008. godine Trofej Dražena Petrovića

Godine 2008. organizatori su se povezali s Muzejom Dražena Petrovića u Zagrebu. Od tada pa sve do danas pobjednik turnira u Lipiku zaslužuje i Trofej Dražena Petrovića, uz izričito odobrenje obitelji Petrović, kao jedan od nekoliko košarkaških događaja u cijelom svijetu sa službenim odobrenjem obitelji.

Iz godine u godinu Streetball u Lipiku je rastao i sportski i organizacijski. Uz turnir, koji je postajao sve jači i kvalitetniji, organizatori su se sve više orijentirali na organiziranje zabavnih sadržaje, velikih koncerata na kojima se znalo okupiti i više od 3.000 posjetitelja, ali su kroz postojeće video materijale uvijek podsjećali na onaj prekrasni, prijeratni Lipik. Važan trenutak za turnir dogodio se 2013. godine kada je, zahvaljujući nastupu ekipa iz Ljubljane i Sarajeva, po prvi puta postao međunarodni.

Live prijenos na FIBA youtube kanalu i koncert „Plavog orkestra“

Ovogodišnji turnir koji po prvi puta ima status Challengera će po mnogo čemu biti drugačiji. Sve utakmice oba dana turnira biti će moguće pratiti u cijelom svijetu zahvaljujući izravnom prijenosu putem live streaminga i to na službenom FIBA YouTube kanalu, dok će utakmice poluzavršnice i veliko finale uživo prenositi Sportska televizija.

Cijeli tjedan će biti popunjen zanimljivim događajima i sadržajima od škole košarke za najmlađe, vatrometa, zabavnih sadržaja za mlade, afterpartya zaključno sa završnim ekskluzivnim koncertom grupe „Plavi orkestar“, kulturnim fenomenom osamdesetih i devedesetih“.

Organizator očekuje da će ovaj dvodnevni događaj uživo pratiti oko 10.000 ljudi, dok putem streaminga na YouTube kanalu i live TV prijenosa na Sportskoj televiziji s naknadnim reprizama očekuje oko 100.000 pregleda i gledatelja.

Ozbiljnost cijelog ovog projekta dokazuje i uključivanje krovnih sportskih organizacija, Hrvatskog olimpijskog odbora i Hrvatskog košarkaškog saveza koji su, uz već spomenuti Muzejsko – memorijalni centar Dražen Petrović, te Grad Lipik, Toplice Lipik i Centar za pružanje usluga u zajednici Lipik, partneri projekta Malbée Lipik 3x3 Challenger 2016.

Za dolazak u Lipik europske ekipe se bore na kvalifikacijskim Satelit turnirima koji su odigravani u talijanskim gradovima Lazzate i Tortona, u bosansko-hercegovačkim gardovima Sarajevu i Vitezu, te kosovskoj Prištini. Indikativno je da se hrvatske ekipe za nastup u Lipiku bore na jedinom hrvatskom satelitu i to u Zadru, gradu košarke i službeno proglašenoj najpoželjnijoj turističkoj destinaciji u Europi. Previše sličnosti i poveznica da bi govorili o slučajnosti…

Prilika za promociju i ostvarenje potencijala

Za uvjetno rečenu malu sredini kakva je Lipik organizacija Challengera je ogroman izazov, ali i prilika da se dodatno učvrsti jedinstvo i zajedništvo, da se da prilika mladima da sudjeluju u nečem doista veliko i važnom. Ne treba posebno naglašavati da je ovaj veliki događaj vrlo važan za Lipik i cijeli kraj, prije svega zbog promocije Lipika kao kontinentalne turističke destinacije. Njegovim organiziranjem definitivno se stvara pozitivno ozračje i promovira izvrsnost i na taj način direktno doprinosi društvu i lokalnoj zajednici u cjelini.

Priča o 3x3 turniru u uličnoj košarci u Lipiku je definitivno priča koja i u budućnosti ima ogroman potencijal, a planiranim medijskim aktivnostima organizator će nastojati da dopre što većeg broja ljudi. Naglašavaju kako je njihov cilj da ova priča posluži kao motivirajući primjer da je i u malim, ratom uništavanim i ekonomski ne pretjerano bogatim sredinama, moguće napraviti događanje europskih i svjetskih razmjera. Naravno, uz puno truda, rada, odricanja, predanosti i zajedništva, uz dobre ideje i volju za njihovom realizacijom.

Organizatori, nekada mladi ljudi, teenageri, a danas zreli, obiteljski, poslovni ljudi, svjesni su da je ovo najefikasniji način kako direktno utjecati na životnu sredinu i kako kvalitetu života učiniti boljom.

„Samo je nebo granica“

„Ne pitajte što zemlja može učiniti za vas, nego što vi činite za nju“, rekao je davno američki predsjednik John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Primjer mladih ljudi iz Lipika okupljenih oko projekta Malbée Lipik 3x3 Challenger 2016. neodoljivo podsjeća upravo na Kennedyev poziv. Geslo pod kojim su mladi Lipika godinama stvarali ovaj turni je „Samo je nebo granica“. Svih ovih godina su vjerovali u vlastite ciljeve i snove i bili predan i ustrajni u njihovom ispunjavanju. Nakon 18 godina njihova priča može postati primjer kako stvarati bolju i ljepšu Hrvatsku. Primjer istinskog domoljublja i Kennedyevom služenja domovini.


 
18 YEARS OF A STREETBALL TOURNAMENT IN LIPIK - A STORY ABOUT PERSISTENCE, FAITH AND A DREAM TRUE

From the desolation of war to the smallest basketball capital in the world

Nenad N. Bach wrote after visiting Lipik: “You will see what will become of Slavonia (a region on Croatian North) in the next 7-10 years. Croats around the world, pay attention and invest in Slavonia. This will be the new Istria (peninsula on SW of Croatia). ...You have all that is necessary to become the richest part of Croatia...“. This was 8 years ago…


Lipik is a town in Western Slavonia. This picturesque town with tourism tradition and aristocratic history, a town known for their Lippizaner horses, for their springs of drinking and healing waters, a town that a quarter of a century ago had lived through and survived all the horrors of wartime destruction; this summer this town will become not just the centre of the Croatian, but of the European and world sport.
The story about the streetball tournament that has been held in Lipik for 17 years in a row has gotten the most beautiful possible epilogue and Lipik, with its 6,170 residents, is becoming the world's smallest basketball capital this year!

The reason for this is Malbée Lipik 3x3 Challenger 2016, an international event in 3x3 street basketball, that will be held in Lipik on July 8 and 9 as a part of the World tour series and under the direct sponsorship from FIBA, the international governing basketball organisation.

The Challenger status and the trust that FIBA showed came as a result of many years of hard and devoted work of young people who, 17 years ago, in the summer of 1999, led by the idea to enrich the local virtually dead social life, decided to organise the first tournament in street basketball. Probably not even they suspected that 18 years later, their story would spread around the world and impress it.


Lipik next to Moscow, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires…

Before briefly diving into the history of the Lipik tournament, it should be mentioned that this year the Challenger status was only given to 14 cities in the world. If we know that the Challengers this year are organised in Moscow (11.9 million residents), Sao Paolo (11.3 mil) in Brazil, Chengdu (4.3 mil) in China, Doha (796.000) in Qatar, Buenos Aires (3 mil) in Argentina, Bucharest (1.9 mil) and Sibiu (426.000) in Romania, Penang (1.7 mil) in Malaysia, Abu Dhabi (860.000) in the United Arab Emirates, Copenhagen (562.000) in Denmark, The Hague (495.000) in the Netherlands, Tallinn (408.000) in Estonia and Lugano (55.600) in Switzerland, we can rightfully say that Lipik truly is the smallest basketball destination in the world.

If we compare this to other sport events in Croatia, we can freely conclude that FIBA Challengers in 3x3 basketball are for this area of sport in the same rank as the Snow Queen in Zagreb is for alpine ski racing or ATP Croatia Open in Umag is for tennis.

According to a research conducted by the International Olympic Committee, 3x3 street basketball is the fastest growing and currently the most popular and widespread urban sport in the world, with almost 100.000 officially registered players worldwide and with the tendency to become an Olympic sport by the year 2020.

This is pointed out because it gives another dimension to this almost incredible sports and social story about the Lipik Challenger, especially because of the teams that will be playing in Lipik this summer.


Teams from France, Spain, Russia, Lithuania, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia…

A total of 16 teams will be competing in the tournament and, so far, it has been confirmed that the two teams from Slovenia and one from Serbia  will be among them. It has also been confirmed that, along with them, the best teams from France (Paris), Spain (Malaga), Russia (Saint Petersburg), Lithuania (Vilnius), Italy (Modena) and Poland (Kolobrzeg) will also appear. This all means that more than 20 players who are currently in the world's Top 50 will be competing in the tournament!

The best teams from Germany, Austria, Ukraine, Netherlands, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Estonia, Turkey and even Brazil (Sao Paolo) have also expressed official interest to compete. Apart from being the only town in Croatia with this status, Lipik is the only town in the area of the former state which has the Challenger status, and this gives it additional value if we know that currently the best 3x3 street basketball is being played precisely in this part of Europe.


A tournament for new victories

It all started in summer of 1999, on a bench in the Lipik park where a group of young people, teenagers even, was trying to figure out a way to advance. Wartime destructions from 1991 left a huge trace on this formerly beautiful tourist place, which had been regarded as the most desirable continental tourism destination in the former state. Lipik was the first town liberated in the Homeland War and a town that suffered vast material damage. It is a town where young people sacrificed their lives during the creation of free Croatia. The number of residents was cut in half, there were practically no social activities, as well as any form of content for the youth. Ivan Pušćenik, then 20 years old, decided with his friends to organise a tournament in street basketball on the sports playground of the Lipik orphanage. The same home that was rebuilt in record time by the British Colonel Mark Cook, together with the members of the British Contingent of UNPROFOR and numerous sponsors throughout the world in 1993.

During its first years, the tournament was a form of entertainment and a type of social gathering for the local population of Lipik and Pakrac, a town situated four kilometers away. Eventually, the tournament started attracting teams from other surrounding towns. First came teams from Daruvar, followed by teams from Bjelovar, Požega, Kutina, Novska, and later from Varaždin, Čakovec, Zagreb and Osijek. When a team from Split competed in Lipik in 2006, this was regarded as a big success. This team later proceeded to become the world vice champions in 3x3 basketball.

Dražen Petrović Trophy awarded since 2008

In the year 2008, the organisers got in touch with the
Dražena Petrović Museum in Zagreb, and since then, the winner of the tournament in Lipik is also awarded the Dražen Petrović Trophy, specifically approved by the Petrović family. It is one of the few basketball events in the world that has gotten an official approval of the family.
Each year, the tournament in Lipik grew, from both the sports and the organisational perspective. The tournament organisers also turned their focus to providing entertainment content, such as big concerts that would attract more than 3,000 visitors. They also kept the memory of the beautiful pre-war Lipik by showing the visitors videos from that time. Some of the important years for the tournament were 2012 and 2013, when the tournament first stepped into the international waters, thanks to the teams from Sarajevo and Ljubljana.

Live broadcast at FIBA’s YouTube channel and the concert of a Croatian band Plavi Orkestar

This year the tournament has the Challenger status for the first time and it will be different in many ways. All the games during both days will be broadcasted worldwide via live stream on the official FIBA YouTube channel, while the semifinals and the great finale will be broadcast live on the Croatian Sports Television.

The whole week leading up to the tournament will be filled with many interesting activities and contents, such as school of basketball for our youngest, fireworks and a party after the finals and after the concert of the Croatian band Plavi Orkestar, a cultural phenomenon of the 80s and 90s.

The organisers expect that the tournament will be watched live by more than 10.000 people. It is also expected that the live stream via YouTube and live broadcast on Sports Television, along with reruns that will be broadcast later, will get the number of viewers up to 100.000.
The involvement of the umbrella sports organisations, such as the Croatian Olympic Committee and the Croatian Basketball Federation, only shows the importance of this project. These organisations, along with the already mention Dražen Petrović Memorial Centre and the Town of Lipik, Lipik Health Spa and the Centre for the provision of services in the Lipik community, are partners of the project Malbée Lipik 3x3 Challenger 2016.

The teams had to qualify for the Lipik Tournament at Satellite Tournaments that took place in Lazzate and Tortona (Italy), in Sarajevo and Vitez (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and in Prishtina (Kosovo). It is significant that the Croatian teams have to compete in the only Croatian Satellite, which is held in Zadar, the city of basketball and officially the most desirable tourism destination in Europe. There are too many similarities and connections to talk about coincidence...

An opportunity for promotion and fulfillment of potential

For a small community such as Lipik, the organisation of a Challenger is a huge challenge, as well as an opportunity to additionally strengthen unity and camaraderie, and to provide the young with an opportunity to take part in something truly great and significant. It shouldn’t be specifically mentioned that this big event is of great importance for Lipik and its surrounding area, primarily because of promotion of Lipik as a continental tourism destination. The organisation of the tournament creates a positive atmosphere and promotes excellence and in that way, it directly contributes to the society and the whole local community.

The story about the 3x3 street basketball tournament in Lipik is definitely a story that will have huge potential even in the future and, with planned media activities, the organisers will try to reach as many people as they can. The organisers point out that their goal is to show that even small, war-torn and not particularly rich communities can provide an event of European and even global proportions – of course not without a lot of effort, work, sacrifice, devotion and unity, and with good ideas and will to realise them.

The organisers, the former youngsters and teenagers, who are now all mature family and business people, are aware that this is the most efficient way to directly influence the town they live in and improve the quality of life there.

“Only sky's the limit”

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”, said the American president John Fitzgerald Kennedy a long time ago. The example of the young people from Lipik, who have gathered around the Malbée Lipik 3x3 Challenger 2016 project, irresistibly reminds of this invitation from President Kennedy – the slogan under which these young people have been organising the tournament for years is “Only sky’s the limit“. All these years, they believed in their own goals and dreams, and they were devoted and persistent in fulfilling them. After 18 years, their story can serve as an example how to create a better and more beautiful Croatia; it is a lesson in true patriotism and service to your country as Kennedy envisioned it.



Written by Mario Barać, Lipik. Translated from Croatian by Lana Ljevaković.

Lipik je najjači svjetski 3x3 Challenger!




The organizing committee of the Lipik3x3Challenger in the Drazen Petrovic Museum in Zagreb



Lipik3x3Challenger supporters from the USA.


Strolling with famous Dr. Marica Topic. Tough and sweet. Croatian War Hero. Croatians around the world are specially proud of her
and the role she had in Vukovar Hospital. I was deeply honored by briefly meeting her. Simplicity is quality of great people.

Nenad N. Bach with Mato Čačić on the left and Antun Haramija on the right, mayor of the town of Lipik,
former mayor Stjepan Horvat, and Frank Westermann taking notes on the right, June 2008.
Looking at Kursalon destroyed in 1991 during the Serbian aggression on Croatia.

Marica Topic and Nenad N. Bach

Ivo Puscenik, former Mayor of Lipik Stjepan Horvat and Nenad Bach

Stjepan Horvat, Nenad Bach, Ivan Puscenik and Goran Puscenik, in discussion.

Nenad Bach and Ivan Puscenik.

Ivan was "guilty" of bringing me to Lipik and I thank him for the opportunity to see this gorgeous small town in the Heart of Croatia.

Lipik Orphanage rebuilt with the help of Colonel Mark Cook. Little that I've seen, I've seen a lot of love coming form teachers and children.

Many thanks to Ivan Pušćenik, Lipik, for submitting the article and the photos for the readers of the CROWN.

Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
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