Basketball is one of the few American sports that are popular in Germany today.
With its appeal, more and more young boys, and even girls, are looking forward to a professional career in basketball in Germany. When basketball was invented and was beginning to become popular in the United States, European countries became interested to the sport, and eight European countries formed the International Basketball Federation or FIBA in 1932. Still there were no signs of basketball in Germany then.
History of Basketball in Germany
The history of basketball in Germany goes back to the 1950’s. However, there were two different German basketball teams that were formed: the West Germany national basketball team and the East Germany national basketball team which is also known as the German Democratic Republic national basketball team. The two German teams competed against each other since the year 1955 until 1973.
The East German team stopped playing in leagues because in 1969, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany decided to participate in sports that were most likely to win medals and earn points at international competitions.
The East Germany’s national basketball team
The East Germany’s national basketball team represented the German Democratic Republic in the years 1955 up to 1973. The team did not participate in any Summer Olympic tournaments and in any FIBA World Championship tournaments because they were never qualified to neither of the said international tournaments; they only participated in the European Championships, otherwise known as the EuroBasket.
In the ten years of the existence of the East Germany team, they only have five appearances in the EuroBasket. Unlike the West Germany national basketball team, the East Germany national basketball team qualified to participate at the 1959 EuroBasket held at Istanbul. The team’s greatest achievement was at the 1963 EuroBasket in Breslau, where they went as the third seed in Group B, however ended up as the 6th placer overall.
The West Germany national basketball team
The West Germany national basketball team represents the West side of Germany in international tournaments until 1990. Before 1990, the West Germany team participated in two Summer Olympics basketball tournaments, one FIBA World championships and seven EuroBasket tournaments. In 1960, the West German national basketball team played against the East German national team for the first time at the qualification to the Summer Olympics.
Since the East German national team stopped playing in 1973, the West German national team was left to represent the country in different international tournaments. In 1990, when the East Germany and the West Germany reunited, the national basketball team underwent a complete makeover and the basketball in Germany changed.
The German national team, which was the successor of the former West German national team, is the new representative of Germany in different international basketball competitions. The Germany national team’s biggest achievements are the victory in the European Championship of 1993 which was held in Germany, the silver medal in the 2005 European Championships and the bronze medal in the 2002 FIBA World Championships.