I am in Skopje, Macedonia this weekend for the CEESA (Central & Eastern European Schools Association) High School Boys’ Basketball Championships. This is my last CEESA competition, as I will be leaving ISB at the end of this year. This is my sixth consecutive boys’ tourney. The sport of basketball is very important in Serbia and it shows with our students. We have won the championship three of the five times we have come, and won trophies (places 2, and 3) in the other two.
The games are being played in the Boris Trajkovski Sports Center, a beautiful facility built by the Macedonian government. The facilities include an ice hockey rink, a huge arena for ball sports, a smaller gymnasium (above), swimming pool, bowling alley, table tennis room, etc. They are named after the former Macedonian President, who died in an airplane accident ten years ago. He was a moderate, Methodist Minister, that was a force for inclusion in this divided country. The host school is Nova of Skopje.
The tourney is shaping up to be a three-team competition within the event. The top three teams, ISB, Nova, and Anglo American School of Sofia, Bulgaria are clearly well above the teams from Helsinki, Latvia, and Kiev. We lost to Nova in the first game, 49-52 and Nova also beat Sofia 62-55. That leaves the big game this afternoon between Sofia and us to determine who will make the final against Nova. We easily beat Latvia and Helsinki by a difference of 56 points in the two games.
UPDATE (March 8, 2014)
Our results are as follows so far with two games left to play:
- Loss vs. Nova 49-52
- Win vs. IS Helsinki 47-25
- Win vs. IS Latvia 60-26
- Win vs. AA Sofia 46-36
UPDATE (MARCH 12, 2014)
- Win vs. PSI – Kiev 29-22
- Loss vs. Nova 49-53