Jorge Garbajosa (Torrejón de Ardoz, 1977) was elected new president of FIBA Europe last Saturday after the support of 35 of the 50 national federations with the right to vote. With this election, the man from Madrid will leave his current position as head of the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB). Elisa Aguilar, director of competitions for the FEB, has already expressed her intention to run for president and become the first woman in history to command national basketball.
“I am confused by the luck we have experienced this week,” said Garbajosa at the FEB Museum, where he wanted to explain, first of all, the reasons that led him to present his candidacy for the main position on the Old Continent: “11 years ago He had the honor of starting to work in the best federation in the world and seven years ago, of being elected its president. I have the best team in the world. But for a year and a half I wanted to transfer the mentality of uniting, of consensus (which I have developed here) to Europe.”.
Garbajosa was excited to leave a house that he leaves at the top of the world ranking after winning the 2019 World Cup and the 2022 Eurobasket.I am invaded by a lot of energy for the new challenge, but also sadness because it is the countdown to leave what is my home, the FEB. I feel sorry because this is my home: every morning, when I got up, I put on the National Team shirt and went to work”.
“I am lucky to leave basketball together, a united, strong FEB… The best federation in the world. The motto of my campaign was ‘better together’ and that is what I want to transfer to Europe”, continued the former player, who confesses to leaving “with a clear conscience”, for all the work carried out in these last seven years.
One of the thorniest issues that you will have to manage as president of FIBA Europe will be that of the Euroleague. The tensions since the establishment, by FIBA, of the Selection Windows in 2017 in the months traditionally allocated to the clubs, led to an eternal, entrenched conflict that seems, for the moment, to have no end.
“It is an issue that affects the whole world,” says Garbajosa. “I want to build bridges with all levels, reach an agreement with the Euroleague, but not just any one: national teams and domestic leagues must be respected”.