The Republic of Lebanon is a country in Western Asia which is on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel on the south.
It’s capital city is Beirut which is also the largest city of the country. They speak Arabic and French and 95% of the population are Arabs, 4 % Armenian and 1% of the other ethnic groups. It has a small population of 4,224,000.
Football and basketball are the most famous sports in the country. Basketball is the most important of all the sports and most popular in Lebanon. They have Lebanese National Basketbal Team who obtained qualifications in the FIBA World Championship in three consecutive times.
Lebanese Basketball team is considered as one of the top teams in Asia. They were able to beat teams from FIBA Americas like Venezuela and won an upset win over the French National Team in the FIBA World Championship.
History of Basketball in Lebanon and the Lebanon National Basketball Team
The Lebanon National Basketball team is Lebanon’s basketball team that compete internationally. It was estimated that the first time basketball is played was in the mid-1920s in the American University of Beirut.
In the Tabaris area, the Gabi Arbaji was the first to provide a basketball playground where college tournaments were held. The first college championship was in 1939 and when in the finals, the Makassed team faced off with AUB which is ended by the victory of Makassed with the score 33-11.
The Lebanese Basketball Federation was founded in 1949. The Lebanese debuted in the European championship tournaments with the Eurobasket 1949 which is held at Cairo, Egypt. Soviet Union refused to host the tournament and FIBA Europe’s unwillingness to convince Czechoslovakia to host consecutive tournaments results that the Egypt who are the 1947 bronze medallist to be the host of the competition.
Few european contries would travel to compete in Africe because of travel difficulties and fear. Lebanon along with Syria were requested to take part in the European Championship though they are Asian countries.During the 1953 Eurobasket in Moscow, the Lebanese participated in the European competition again.
The first independent Lebanese basketball team was founded in 1955 which were already planned in the year 1951. Back then the Lebanese Basketball Championship were created and continues until the Lebanese civil war.
The time before the war, the Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut team had the largest amount of trophees. Then after the war in 1993, the first championship were produced and it is under the era of Tony Khoury. The media started to have a bigger interest on basketball . On 1996, a new federation were formed by Antoin Chartier who is the president. The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation sponsored at that time and until now.