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Boštjan Nachbar in Sani Bečirović
Boki and Sani have named the event a Basketball Symphony. Foto: www.alesfevzer.com

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Diamantidis, Krstić, and other basketball legends at Boki's and Sani's farewell

The 37-year-olds retire from active basketball
22. May 2018 ob 20:03
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

In August we can look forward to a basketball spectacle in which fans will be able to see Slovenia's great basketball players Boštjan Nachbar and Sani Bečirović play for one last time, as they say farewell to their active careers. Other basketball legends will also play at the farewell match in Ljubljana.

Nachbar announced his decision to retire last week, on the 14th of May, in an emotional letter sent to MMC.

Boki and Sani have named the event a Basketball Symphony. Presenting details of the farewell match, Nachbar once again explained his decision to retire. "It's true, and after thinking about it for a long time, and despite the fact that I'm still in good physical condition and still love basketball, I decided that that's that. I simply think that when you wake up one morning and basketball is not the first thing that comes to mind, and when other things become your priority, the only right thing to do as a professional athlete is to decide to start doing something else."

The farewell match will take place on the 30th of August at the Stožice Arena in Ljubljana.

Boki had a truly rich basketball career playing for many teams: Union Olimpija, Benetton, Houston, New Orleans, New Jersey, Efes Pilsen, Unics Kazan, Barcelona, and at the end for Seville. "I was really lucky in my career to have achieved the goals I yearned for, and those were to play in the best European clubs, play twice in the Final Four of the Euroleague, play in the NBA, which was my wish ever since I first saw Michael Jordan fly in the air, and play for the national team at all the big basketball tournaments."

He added that he was retiring from the court with a feeling of satisfaction. However, he did finish last year's season for Seville early due to an injury, which was not the way he wanted to go out: "I'm really happy to be able to step on the court for one last time with Sani, with whom I started my career 30 years ago, and play against each other again. Sani is one of my best friends, we grew up together on the court, were teammates in the youth categories, and then parted when we started playing for the national team. We did play together again at some of the national team gatherings, but it surely will be one of the nicer memories in my life, to be able to finish my career with him. Joining us will be some of the masters of the game of basketball, so I really can't wait for the referee to throw the first ball in the air."

"A thank you to everyone who helped us on our path to success"
Sani Bečirović is also looking forward to the event: "With this extraordinary sports event, I wish to finish a nice story which I don't only see as a part of my career. I got to meet many people and friends. Some are more dear to my heart, others maybe a little less, but they're all part of my story. All of us, which will step on the court in Stožice, will do it with the same reason. We want to show that despite the rivalry among us, and the battles that took place on the court, what remains in the end are the nice moments and friendships which last a lifetime. The Basketball Symphony will be a thank you to all those who helped me on my sports path to success," said Bečirović.

Playing for the Slovenian under-20 team, Bečirović and Nachbar won the European championship title at the 2000 tournament in Macedonia. Bečirović was also declared MVP of the tournament.

Stožice will be all about the number 7
Those playing at the Basketball Symphony will be divided into two teams, which will be captained by Bečirović and Nachbar. Coaches who influenced the careers of the two will be on the benches of the two teams. The evening will surely be unforgettable, as it will gather remarkable athletes and basketball players all in one place, with which fans will also be able to socialize and take photos with. Stožice will be all about the number 7, a number both players wore on their jerseys. Each quarter will also be 7 minutes long.

Among the high-profile guests, which have already confirmed their arrival to Ljubljana, are Dimitris Diamantidis from Greece, Serbian basketball stars Miroslav Raduljica, Igor Rakočević and Nenad Krstić, Macedonian legend Vlado Ilievski, a former member of the Bosnian national team Jasmin Hukić, and many others who will be additionally announced by the organizers in the coming weeks and months.

D. S.; translated by K. J.
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