An Ecological Crossroads
Nestled in south-central Europe at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, the Alps, the Dinaric Alps and the Carpathian Basin, The Republic of Slovenia is renowned for its unique biological diversity.
|Lake Bled is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Slovenia|
Size Does Matter
Given Slovenia's relatively small size, the country is a perfect holiday destination with tourists able to tick of all major attractions in a matter of days. In one day it is possible to enjoy the Mediterranean seaside in the morning, before hitting the slopes of the Alps following lunch. The small size of Slovenia also makes the country the perfect destination for EuroBasket with fans easily able access more than one city to follow their team.
|Slovenia also offers a short but picturesque coast line|
A Hard Working Character
The Slovenian people are characterised as being hard-working and ambitious, as well as to a lesser extent, individualistic. These characteristics shine through in the Slovenian sporting landscape with Slovenia consistently amongst the leading countries at the Olympics for medals won per capita, and a large percentage of the population also participating in Extreme Sports.
From Ivo Daneu To Goran Dragić
Although young as a country, Slovenia has a long and great basketball tradition. Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Slovenia was consistently represented on the Yugoslav national basketball team that won medals on the European, World and Olympic stages.
In 1970 Ljubljana was one the former Yugoslav cities to play host to the FIBA Basketball World Championship which was played in Europe for the first time. The final stage of the tournament was held in Tivoli Hall in the modern-day Slovenian capital with one of Slovenia's own, Ivo Daneu, playing a key role in helping the home team win gold. Some other notable Slovenian players from Yugoslavian era were Peter Vilfan, Jure Zdovc, Vinko Jelovac and Aljoša Žorga.
|Maribor, the country's second largest city, at night|
As an independent country, Slovenia has to date competed at eight EuroBaskets and two FIBA World Championships. The best results have been a 4th at EuroBasket 2009 in Poland and an 8th at the World Championship 2010 in Turkey.
At club level, Slovenia has tasted success on the European stage with Union Olimpija Ljubljana winning the Saporta Cup in 1994; the Adriatic League in 2002; and also earning a spot in the Euroleague Final Four in 1997. KRKA Novo Mesto has also tasted success in wider Europe, winning the EuroChallenge in 2011.
|What many don't know is that Slovenia also produces excellent wines|
Notable players to pull on the Slovenian shirt since the country gained independence and also gain fame playing in the NBA include Radoslav Nesterović, Beno Udrih, Marko Milić, Boštjan Nachbar, Primož Brezec, Uroš Slokar, whilst Matjaž Smodiš, Jaka Lakovič and Erazem Lorbek are all household names amongst European basketball circles.
Now, on home soil, and led by a legend in the making in his own right, Goran Dragic, Slovenia are gunning to win their first ever medal on the international stage, with the support of home fans working as an extra incentive.
Find out more about Slovenia HERE