The official basketball ball of the North European Basketball League (NEBL)
The North European Basketball League (NEBL) was a short-lived basketball league founded in 1998 by Šarūnas Marčiulionis. The league was the first commercial project of regional league in Europe, and initially intended for participation of the best basketball teams from five countries - Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and Finland. In 1999, the first competition took place involving eight teams from aforementioned countries. Eventually the tournament started to lose its regional characteristics involving more clubs from Central (Poland, Czech Republic), Western (Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, UK) and Eastern (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus) Europe; then, from Southern Europe (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia) and even from Israel and Turkey. There were 31 teams from 19 countries (from Israel to UK) participating in 2001–2002 tournament. The Final Four of the NEBL was always played in Vilnius, Lithuania.