During the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Belgrade, Serbia, a historical moment occurred for the players in the competition – former EuroLeague player Bostjan Nachbar together with active players Luigi Datome of Fenerbahce Dogus Istanbul and Kyle Hines of CSKA Moscow announced the upcoming founding of the independent EuroLeague Players Association (ELPA).
ELPA will be the union of basketball players competing in the EuroLeague competition. ELPA will aim to assist, represent, and unite the players in achieving their goals, on and off the court.
Following numerous extensive discussions with players of all 16 clubs, who have been visited by Bostjan Nachbar throughout the 2017-18 season, ELPA will be officially founded at a player representatives meeting held immediately after the end of the current club season. The players expressed their strong support for the establishment of this very important entity, which seeks to represent the players’ unified voice regarding Europe’s top basketball club competition.
All necessary organisational, legal and financial steps towards the founding have been made, including the presentation of ELPA to Euroleague Basketball management, who have encouraged the players to continue making progress in what has been deemed a priority by thef EuroLeague clubs.
ELPA’s specific intention is to defend and pursue the rights of professional basketball players in the EuroLeague. Through collective bargaining with Eurolegue Basketball and the EuroLeague clubs, ELPA will seek to achieve a higher level of protection of players’ individual and collective rights and to improve the working conditions, economic benefits, and job security of all its members.
Furthermore, ELPA will engage in organisational, financial, educational, and marketing activities which will advance the economic stability and security of its members. Through charity and personal development programs, ELPA will strive to connect its members with the wider community.
“During my basketball career I always felt that an association for players at the highest European basketball level is something that was very much needed. Over the last six months I have been communicating with players, organising them and with their approval I took the necessary steps to establish ELPA. I am thankful for the trust and support I am receiving from the players, but they should keep in mind that the course of this association will be determined by them. My goal is to establish an organisation that would improve careers of EuroLeague players, defend their rights and work for their well-being during and after their careers.”
“The EuroLeague is an elite competition which will continue to grow in the future. This is why I believe it is time for players in the competition to get organised, create their own voice and help with growing this product. Players are the most important piece of the competition and it is fair to include their point of view in the decision making-process of Euroleague Basketball.”
“The players of the EuroLeague are taking an important step with the creation of the EuroLeague Players Association. This association will bring new opportunities to the players as we come together for the first time as a united group. I’m excited for the future of our new association as we work together with club and league officials to ensure the competition will remain at its best.”