The Albanian national basketball team (Albanian: Federata Shqiptare e Basketbollit) is the national basketball team of Albania and it has represented the nation since 1947. Having not played a competitive game since 2012, the national team will return to action in 2016 for EuroBasket 2017 qualification.
Basketball was introduced in Albania in the early 20th century, and it became popular in the 1920s following the end of World War I as sports societies and clubs were being formed all over the country, and basketball was soon introduced to the major towns and cities in Albania. Basketball was played informally by teams representing different sports clubs, and it wasn't until September 1945 that a National Basketball Committee was formed that would be responsible for dealing with the issues basketball teams in the country faced. The committee paved the way for the creation of the Albanian Basketball Association (ABA) a year later in 1946, which became a member of FIBA in 1947, and whose main goals were to enable clubs to compete in national competitions, as well a promote the sport. The first National Championship in Albania was held in 1946, and a year later the first Women's National Championship also took place. In 1951 the ABA created the Republic's Cup, which was a competition open to all professional and amateur basketball clubs in Albania, with the women's and youth versions of the competition both starting in 1952. During the Communist regime in Albania, the National Spartakiad was held between 1959 and 1989, where basketball was one of the more popular sports in display in the country's biggest sports events. In 1999 the ABA held the first Albanian Basketball Supercups for men and women, which is played between the winners of the league and cup.
Albania first competed in a European championship at EuroBasket 1947 held in Prague, Czechoslovakia, shortly after joining FIBA as an affiliate national team. In the preliminary round of the competition Albania was placed in Group D with Italy, Belgium and Egypt, and their first game in a major tournament came against Italy in a 15–60 loss, and they went on to lose 11–114 and 19–104 to Belgium and Egypt, respectively. In the next round, they were placed in the lower bracket Group 3 to determine who finishes between the 7th and 10th places, where they faced Romania and Austria. Albania lost 19–73 to Romania and 27–44 to Austria. They then went on to face Yugoslavia in the final game to determine who finishes in penultimate place, where they lost 13–90 to Yugoslavia and finished in last place out of 14 teams, with a record of 0 wins and 6 losses. Albania averaged just 17.3 points per game, with their highest point tally coming against Austria where they scored 27 points, and lost by their smallest margin of 17 points. They conceded an average of 80.3 points per game, with their highest scoring opponents being Belgium who defeated Albania 114–11.
10 years after their debut tournament performance, Albania competed at EuroBasket 1957 in Sofia, Bulgaria, where they were placed in Group A in the preliminary round with Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Scotland. They lost 57–89 to Yugoslavia in their opening game, and then went on to lose 37–71 and 42–65 to Czechoslovakia and Scotland, respectively, to finish bottom of the group. During the classification round, Albania faced Turkey, Italy, Finland, Belgium, West Germany, Austria and Scotland. Albania lost all 7 games in the classification round which led to them finishing bottom of another EuroBasket tournament, this time out of 16 team. Albania averaged 47.6 points per game, with their highest points tally coming against Turkey in a 64–97 loss, which was also the highest scoring game for their opponents, and conceded an average of 78.4 points per game during the tournament. Despite better performances than those in 1947, they could not manage to escape finish bottom once again.