Representatives of Turkish Airlines EuroLeague teams met for the first time after the establishment of EuroLeague Players’ Association in Barcelona to analyze a successful basketball season and set ambitious goals for the future.
During second ELPA General Assembly, players’ representatives unanimously agreed that this basketball season ended on a positive note for EuroLeague Players’ Association, fulfilling two main objectives: to present ELPA’s mission and vision to all EuroLeague team players and to gather players’ input before starting negotiations with EuroLeague Basketball and its shareholders.
ELPA management and Players’ Board invested a lot of time and effort in efficiently preparing first round of proposals for amendments and engagement in successful negotiations with EuroLeague Basketball. The document with proposals is set to be approved at the July 11th EuroLeague Shareholders’ meeting in Munich.
In the first season of ELPA’s existence the players were able to impact the setting of EuroLeague game schedule. For the next season the players and ELPA managed to negotiate an easier and more spread out game schedule.
ELPA also formed close ties with Union of EuroLeague Basketball referees to enable information exchange, relevant to better understanding of basketball rules and enhancing communication. In addition, ELPA also started collaborating with EuroLeague Head Coaches Board established in April 2019.
Internationally, ELPA established friendly relations with US National Basketball Players’ Association (NBPA) leading to information exchange, mutual help for players on both sides of the pond (Europe and United States), and opportunity for ELPA members to participate at the renowned NBPA camps and clinics, which are being attended by four ELPA members this year.
Assembly meeting attendees have confirmed amendments to ELPA statute increasing the size of Players’ Board members from 5 to 7. Elections for the additional two spots will be held in September. Meeting participants also discussed the goals for the season 2019/20, prioritized ensuring of minimal standards agreed with the EuroLeague teams and debated the upcoming collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations.
Gigi Datome, President of ELPA:
“As ELPA completes first year of existence I can say it was tough to get engines started, but we managed to achieve important changes related to the health and security so we can play the best basketball possible. I am glad that a lot of players showed interest, were willing to help each other and step up because I am sure we can achieve even more for the good of players, teams and fans in general.”
Kyle Hines, Vice-president of ELPA:
“As ELPA celebrates its first year anniversary, I’m proud of all the progress we have all made together. In only one year we have made great strides to put in place new improvements and measures that will have a lasting effect on the players of EuroLeague. We have shown that together, we as players have a powerful voice. I’m excited for the future of ELPA and will continue to help contributing to the mission of the Association.”
Bostjan Nachbar, Managing Director:
“First, I would like to thank the players, especially those who have actively participated during our first year. For us, it is a big responsibility to represent players’ collective interest. ELPA’s annual meeting gives us a chance to sit down at the same table with the players from each team and discuss different things related to their basketball careers. We will carry the same motivation into year two, which will bring some visible changes and improvements to all EuroLeague players. Now that we have solidified ELPA, we can shift our focus to first ever EuroLeague/ELPA CBA negotiation. Challenges lay ahead, but we are determined to face and overcome them as a collective unit.”