International Basketball

The International Basketball Federation was founded in 1932 by 8 nations: Argentina, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and Latvia. At this point, the International Basketball Federation only oversaw the amateur basketball players. The International Basketball Federation was represented by the acronym "FIBA" which originated from the French Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur. For the first time, the men's basketball became a part of the Summer Olympics in Berlin 1936. A demonstration championship was held before in 1904. Canada was defeated by United States in the 1st final that was played outdoors. The competition has been normally dominated by United States, who has won all the three titles. The controversial final game played against Soviet Union in Munich in 1972 resulted in United States' first loss. The first men's FIBA World Championship was organized in Argentina in 1950. Three years later, in 1953 the first women's FIBA World Championship was organized in Chile. The women's basketball became a part of the Montreal Olympics in 1976. Several teams such as Brazil, Soviet Union and Australia competed against the American teams.

International Basketball From 1989 onwards, FIBA suspended the distinction between the amateur and professional basketball players. For the first time in 1992, the professional basketball players took part in Olympic Games. United States continued to dominate the basketball scene with their Dream Team. But, gradually as time passed other teams grew stronger with developing programs and started to beat United States. A team which entirely consisted of NBA players participated in the 2002 World Championships in Indianapolis, finished the tournament as sixth and stood behind teams like Yugoslavia, Argentina, Germany, New Zealand and Spain. In 2004 Olympics held in Athens, United States lost first Olympic game against Puerto Rico. The team essentially consisted of professional basketball players, who were defeated by Puerto Rico by 19 points. United States also suffered defeat at the hands of Lithuania in the group games, before being finally eliminated by Argentina in the semifinals. United States finally managed to win the bronze medal by defeating Lithuania and finished the tournament behind Argentina and Italy. In the World Championship of Japan held in 2006, United States proceeded to the semifinal rounds. However they were defeated by the Greeks by 101-95. United States finally finished the tournament in the third position behind the teams Greece and Spain. After this, United States remodeled and regrouped their team; they finally won the Gold medal in the 2008 Olympics held in China. They also championed the 2010 FIBA World Championship held in Turkey even though the entire squad was new and didn't feature any players from the gold-winning 2008 squad.

Basketball tournaments are held worldwide for boys and girls of various age groups. The widespread global popularity of basketball can be seen in the different nationalities represented in NBA. Players from all the six continents currently take part in the NBA. Top international basketball players, such as Croatian players Toni Kukoc and Dražen Petrovic, Lithuanians Šarunas Marciulionis and Arvydas Sabonis and Serbian player Vlade Divac participate in the NBA since the mid 1990s.