London is to stage one of the four qualifying tournament for next year’s Euroleague-backed Nike International Junior Tournament, as the continent’s elite youngsters fight for the right to play on the biggest stage of all, the Final Four.
Europe's best under-18 players will be trying to earn a berth in Paris, and the team winning the tournament in May – held on the weekend of the Euroleague Final Four - crowned the undisputed European Junior Club Champion.
"When we first held a junior tournament six years ago on the occasion of the 2003 Final Four in Barcelona, our aim was to create something that has never before existed - a European junior club championship," Jordi Bertomeu, Euroleague Basketball CEO, said. "Thanks to the wonderful support we receive in our excellent relationship with Nike and our collaboration with A.S. Stella Azurra, CB L'Hospitalet, FMP and Barking Abbey School, we now see this come to fruition."
Every city will see either eight or twelve teams competing over three days for the possibility of booking their place in the 2010 Nike International Junior Tournament, to be held May 6 to 9 in Paris, France. In 2009, La Caja de Canarias Gran Canaria (Spain), Lietuvos Rytas (Lithuania) and FMP (Serbia) won their respective classification tournaments, with FMP going on to win the NIJT in Berlin.
Barking Abbey Academy, run by ex-GB coach Mark Clark, will host the British leg in London, running from February 19-21.