Goldsmith master Günter Schoebel from Bad Kreuznach, Germany, is the man behind the new trophy for the FIBA World Championship for Men. The new trophy was presented to the World Champions from Yugoslavia for the first time following the Finals on 9th August 1998 in Athens.
It was way back in the 1950 that the Central Board of FIBA decided to create a special trophy for the FIBA World Championship which was to bear the name of the inventor of basketball, James Naismith. Up until 1964 nothing happened and it was not until 1965 when, thanks to a donation of US$ 1,000, thoughts could be turned to making intention reality. At this point, people still did not know what for the trophy should take.
Dr. H.C. Renato William Jones, long-time Secretary General of FIBA, who died in 1981 at the age of 74, also provided the inspiration for the design of this trophy.
A combination of coincidence and Jones observant eye were to provide the answer. During a trip along the Nile to upper Egypt with Ursula Frank and late FIBA Africa boss Abdel Azim Ashry, he also visited the town of Luxor and the temple in Karnak. At the temple he was very much impressed by on of the lotus columns, with a particularly stylish bud-shaped capital and, after brief reflection, he decided this should be the model for the cup.
The top part of the newly created Naismith Trophy has a lotus flower design and the decagonal rotating middle piece, with carved maps of the continents and precious stones inlaid, symbolizes the 5 continents. Black onyx, yellow citrine, green chyrsopase, red garnet and blue topaz represent all the regions in the world.
The 975/000 sterling silver on the upper and lower parts – gold plated on the inside – and the 14-carat yellow gold middle part make the cup particularly valuable and precious. The base is made of Rosa Porrhino marble and measures 20 x 20 cm. James Naismith’s name is engraved on all four sides in Latin, Arabic, Chinese and in Egyptian hieroglyphics. The top of the cup has a circumference of 21cm and, standing 47cm, the trophy weights a grand 9kg.