ISTANBUL - No matter where you are in the FIBA family, the likelihood is that you will inevitably find yourself talking about Turkey at some point – something which will be music to the ears of the Turkish Basketball Federation (TBF) who have been working overtime in recent years to put their nation right at the heart of world basketball.
And if you think that, after having hosted the 2010 World Championship, the EuroLeague Women Final Eight while also securing this year’s EuroLeague Final Four and the World Championship Women in 2014 they have any intention of slowing down, then you had better think again.
For the TBF is determined to build on the momentum they have worked so tirelessly to attain and are set to continue what has become a seemingly unstoppable journey towards ensuring they are firmly established as a bona-fide world basketball powerhouse.
Having already delivered a series of winning bids to host major basketball events and with success attained on the floor by way of silver medals for the men at the FIBA World Championship in 2010 and for the women at EuroBasket last summer, the TBF is determined to maintain their habit of seizing the initiative and making a splash both on and off the court.
Reiterating their unwavering commitment moving forward, the TBF recently unveiled their latest master-plan for the next four years which as you might expect, is an impressive and dynamic strategy to fulfil their potential in coming years.
A quick glance at the front cover entitled ‘Project Powerhouse’ gives you an instant and compelling sense of the ‘uber-focus’ captured within as well as how important and impressively purposeful the document is.
Perhaps its most overpowering aspect is that there is an overriding theme which acknowledges the role the TBF is now playing not only within a sporting context but also within the context of the wider political and social landscape.
TBF President Turgay Demirel explicitly states he wants his nation to go for gold but critically explains: “Basketball has the power to change people’s lives and it has the power to change the perception of our nation – we know this and we take our responsibility very seriously.”
To help foster an environment of success which transcends merely basketball itself, there will be three main focus areas for the TBF in coming years.
This will be to create sustainable success on the court, to continue hosting major events and to ensure the professional and innovative marketing of the sport to secure funding, build relations and attract both players and fans.
Finally, while it would be very easy for the TBF to make the plan too ‘top heavy’ and concentrate too much on elite performance, there is an impressive balance since a significant amount of dedication is given to grass roots development and specifically ensuring effective pathways to success from youth level. This is also fused with links to healthy lifestyles and promoting cultural diversity.
In summary, the TBF have left nobody in any doubts as to where they are heading in the next few years.
And, judging by their efforts and success to date, you certainly wouldn’t back against them realising their untapped potential or very specific and documented ambitions.
Click here to see the TBF's Strategic plan 2012-2016.