Three more weeks to go before 3x3

There will be representatives of universities from as many as 17 European nations, competing in 40 teams and totaling almost 400 participants present at the European Universities 3x3 Basketball Championship starting in about three weeks at the University of Debrecen. The defending champions are also coming, so the quality and the unique atmosphere will be guaranteed in and around the courts to be set up in front of the Main Building.

In the summer of 2024, the University of Debrecen, the city of Debrecen, the city of Miskolc and the University of Miskolc will jointly act as hosts for the European University Games (EUG). This EUSA event is the most important university multi-sport competition in the world. There are going to be more than 2000 athletes competing in 7 different branches of sports (football, futsal, handball, beach handball, 3x3 basketball, badminton and table tennis) in our city.

The last major rehearsal and test tournament for this competition will be the European Universities 3x3 Basketball Championship, which will be hosted by the University of Debrecen between July 15 and 19, 2023, with the courts located on the square in front of the Main Building, which will hopefully lend a special sports and festival atmosphere to the event.

At the official press conference of the event held roughly about three weeks before the start, Chancellor of the University of Debrecen Zoltán Bács, emphasized the facts that next year's European University Games would indeed be a multisport competition with a huge number of participants and the 3x3 competition starting on July 15 would also serve as an excellent preparation for it.

“The 2024 Games will be a bit about culture and a bit about sport, while not so much about nations, but rather about universities and young people, with thousands of participants in the two hosting cities. We have planned that the closing days of both next year's Games and this year's 3x3 competition will also be day zero of our annual Campus Festival, making the events even more memorable for athletes,” said the Chancellor.

Deputy Mayor of Debrecen Diána Széles also attended the pre-event press conference, and she spoke in acknowledgment of the role undertaken by the university.

“In Debrecen, students can pursue their studies in addition to being involved in sports. We can provide young sports enthusiasts with a career that is not really available in a lot of other cities. Through its sport feature, the University of Debrecen represents a huge attraction and this also facilitates Debrecen's leading role in our region,” said Diána Széles.

The deputy mayor also mentioned that the European Universities Championship in July would be a genuine opportunity for developing tourism attracted to the city of Debrecen and, thus, for boosting its economy. Related to the 3x3 competitions of former years, Magyar Kosárlabdázók Országos Szövetsége [Hungarian Basketball Federation] has spent more than HUF 10 billion in our city, which ultimately ended up with accommodation providers, restaurateurs and tourist attractions. For the upcoming 3x3 European Universities Championship, more than 1800 guest nights are expected altogether.

The competition is co-financed by Nemzeti Sportügynökség Nonprofit Zrt. [National Sports Agency Nonprofit Ltd.] and the University of Debrecen. Éva Szántó, Chief Sports Diplomacy Advisor of NSA, explained that her organization had designated the support of major international sporting events held in Hungary to be one of its top priorities, and this kind of support had been allotted to a very good place in the case of Debrecen.

“If we look at the overall sporting events market, we cannot help noticing that the cooperation between the city of Debrecen and the University of Debrecen is exemplary and this is one of the guarantees of success. In fact, what we see in connection with this event and the city of Debrecen is truly exceptional,” said Éva Szántó.

The European Universities 3x3 Basketball Championship is also supported by Magyar Egyetemi-Főiskolai Sportszövetség (MEFS) [Hungarian University Sports Federation]. Secretary General Péter Juhász praised the university also in connection with MEFOB Fest, held two months ago, and said he was looking forward to the upcoming event as well.

“One of the most arresting and spectacular competitions at the 2022 University Games in Lodz was the 3x3 basketball tournament, which attracted the largest number of students and spectators at a special venue. I do believe that Debrecen’s choice for the location the venue, Egyetem tér [University Square], is even more impressive and it will put the standard of domestic and international 3x3 basketball and university sports in general even higher,” said the Secretary General, who also expressed his gratitude to our institution on behalf of MEFS for taking an active part in university sports life.

Péter Juhász said that, without the University of Debrecen and the sporting events it hosts, Hungary would not be the third most active member of the organization called European University Sports Association (EUSA).

According to the entries received so far, there will be 17 women's and 23 men's teams participating in the European Universities 3x3 Basketball Championship from all over Europe. The local organizers expect between 300 and 400 participants, including players, coaches and volunteers, to attend the tournament, which will begin in about three weeks.

László Balogh, Director of DE Sporttudományi Koordinációs Intézet [UD Sports Science Coordination Institute] and Head of the Organizing Committee, highlighted the following features at the press conference: the venue for the European Championship is indeed exceptional, as it is situated in a wonderful nature conservation area on the one hand, while on the other hand, the accommodation, the courts and other event venues are all very close to each other.

“This competition is also an outstanding opportunity for the almost 800 students who study sports science and physical culture at our university. Second only to Magyar Testnevelési és Sporttudományi Egyetem [Hungarian University of Sport Science], this is the highest headcount in institutions outside the capital city. Our students can participate as interns and volunteers in organizing international competitions, which is a great help for us,” said László Balogh.

Including those in Hungary, universities from as many as 17 nations (e.g.: Norwegian, French, Lithuanian, Polish, German, Spanish and Turkish institutions) will compete for the European Championship titles. The gold medalists of the European Universities Games in Lodz, i.e. the reigning continental champions, will be here in both the men's and women's events. Among women, Ukraine's Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University (whose participation costs have been covered by UD), while among men, Lithuania's Vytautas Magnus University scored a flawless record to win the 2022 Games.

From Hungary, a total of 8 teams have submitted their entries. The hosting institution, the University of Debrecen, will have a stake in both men's and women's competitions, as will the Hungarian University of Sport Science. Budapest University of Technology and Economics and Corvinus University will compete among the men's teams, while Széchenyi István University and the University of Miskolc will participate in the women's competition.

The opening ceremony of the European Championship will be held on Saturday, July 15, with an artistic contribution of the Faculty of Music of the University of Debrecen, and the group called Face Team Acrobatic Sports Theatre is also preparing to perform a spectacular show. The games and matches will take place as of Sunday, July 16, to Wednesday, July 19, from 9 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 10 pm every day. The finals are scheduled to start in the evening on Wednesday the 19th at 20:10 and 20:35.

Admission to the event is free of charge, while the supporters and the fans will be able to cheer on their favorites from a grandstand seating six hundred people in front of the Main Building of the University of Debrecen.

Press Center - PKZs