The Basketball World Championship

The FIBA Basketball World Cup, also known as the basketball world championship is an international competition that involves a fight for victory between the members of international teams. It is held every four years and it represents the main event of the international world of basketball. For example, even people in the UK are more interested in American football than we might think. They even have specialized stores like that distribute official NFL merchandise, like hats, jerseys and T-shirts!

The basketball world championship has been played in the same year with the FIFA World Cup since 1970, and these two events have a similar structure. Although the inaugural tournament was held in 1950, the inventor of basketball lived to see the National Invitation Tournament in 1938, so he got the chance to see that the game that he invented was adopted as an official event.

James Naismith, the man who invented basketball, received many posthumous honors, such as the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame, the Ontario Sports Legends Hall of Fame, Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, the Ontario Sports Legends Hall of Fame and the FIBA Hall of Fame. He was a Canadian sports instructor who became U.S. citizen in 1925 and he brought a big contribution to the sports world by discovering this game that now everybody loves.

The current structure of the tournament implies 24 teams fighting for the champion title at locals within the host country. The winners receive an important award which is represented by the Naismith Trophy. This trophy was named after the sports instructor who invented basketball and it was first awarded in 1967.

The basketball world championship terms were established during a meeting attended by the FIBA World Congress in 1948, at the Summer Olympics in London. The Secretary-General of FIBA came with the idea of holding a World Championship by adopting the same strategies used in the FIFA World Cup. Due to the success that the 23-team Olympic tournament had that year, the FIBA Congress accepted the proposal, and they agreed to hold the championship every four years between Olympiads.

The first tournaments started in 1950 and they were held in South America. Since Argentina was the only country that was willing to take on the duty, it was selected as host. That represented a great advantage for its team which won all the games and helped the country became the first FIBA World Champion.
Although the American teams dominated the tournaments, by 1963 teams from Europe countries started to catch up, so the most important nations that participated to the tournaments were the Soviet Union, Brazil, United States and Yugoslavia.

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