EuroBasket tourney coming to France in 2015

In a nod to the French love of basketball, organizers of the EuroBasket tournament announced Monday they will hold part of the international championship in France.

France, Croatia, Germany and Latvia were awarded on Monday the right to co-host EuroBasket 2015 while France will host the final knockout stage of the biennial tournament.

"This is an important moment in the history of European basketball, as we have voted not only for the hosts of next year's event but also on pioneering a new concept, with four hosts," said FIBA Europe President Turgay Demirel.

"France has a strong federation, a strong team and they wanted to play at home. They deserved to host the finals," he said.

It will be the first time in history that the event, which will run from September 5-20, will be hosted in multiple countries.

FIBA Europe's Board voted on the hosts at an extraordinary meeting in Madrid at the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The four first round host cities will be hosted in Berlin, Montpellier, Riga and Zagreb while the finals will be played at the Lille Arena, which seats 27,000 spectators.

"There are a lot of emotions. It's a long story which started in 2010 with Germany and I am happy that this finally happened," said French basketball federation president Jean-Pierre Siutat. "Now we need to start work."

Germany and France were the spearheads of the bid, wanting to commemorate the end of World War II 70 years later by co-hosting the event.

The two countries originally had planned to co-host the event alone before bringing in Croatia and Italy as fellow first round co-hosts. The bid was eventually withdrawn and Ukraine was awarded the event.

Political dispute in Ukraine caused FIBA Europe to re-locate the competition and bids were taken.

Eight countries – Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Poland and Turkey – submitted official bids to host or co-host the event.

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Basketball star Tony Parker to buy French ski resort

French basketball star Tony Parker, ex-husband of Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria, is to buy a ski resort in the French Alps and plans to turn it into a year-round holiday destination.

Basketball star Tony Parker to buy French ski resort
NBA star Tony Parker is branching out into ski resorts. Photo: AFP

It’s the second time in a week that he has made the news in France.

It was announced last Thursday that Parker, a four-time NBA champion, and fellow Frenchman Nicolas Batum will next January lead their team the Hornets against the Bucks in the first regular season NBA game ever to be held in Paris.

Parker, 36, will take control of 78 percent of the SEVLC firm that controls the ski lifts at the small resort of Villard-de-Lans et de Corrençons-en-Vercors some time this month, a spokesman for his company told AFP.

A deal was voted through unanimously last week by the town council to sell control of SEVLC to Infinity Nine Mountain, a company owned by Parker.

READ ALSO: Paris: Historic 1893 basketball court needs help to bounce back

Parker has ambitious plans for the until now low-key resort, with a massive building project on the cards to try and turn it into a place where visitors will come all year round and not just for the short ski season.

His Hornets teammate Nicolas Batum is also taking part in the project to overhaul the resort.

Parker was already famous in his native France for his sporting success but also became a regular feature in celebrity magazines after he started dating Eva Longoria in 2005

They married in Paris in 2007 but the marriage quickly became troubled amid reports of infidelities and they eventually divorced in 2011.

Parker is now married to French journalist Axelle Francine and they have two sons.