KB Tirana

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KB Tirana
Nickname Bardheblutë (The White and Blues)
Leagues Albanian Superliga
Balkan League
Albanian Cup
Founded 1946
History 1946–present
Arena Tirana Olympic Park
Capacity 1,200
Location Tiranë, Albania
Team colors Blue, White
         
President Spiro Koleka
Vice-president(s) Angelo Koleka
Team manager Melzin Lazimi
Head coach Antonios Doukas
Championships 20 Albanian Superligas
18 Albanian Cups
8 Albanian Supercups
Uniforms
Active branches of KF Tirana
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg
Football (Men's) Football (Women's) Football (B team)
Football pictogram.svg Football pictogram.svg Basketball pictogram.svg
Football (Youth) Futsal Basketball (Men's)
Basketball pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg Volleyball (indoor) pictogram.svg
Basketball (Women's) Volleyball (Men's) Volleyball (Women's)

KB Tirana are an Albanian professional basketball team based in Tiranë, which is the basketball branch of SK Tirana. They compete in the Albanian Basketball Superliga of the Albanian Basketball League and the Balkan International Basketball League. The club plays its home domestic games at the Farie Hoti Sports Palace, and they play their international games at the Asllan Rusi Sports Palace. Tirana are one of two successful teams in the history of Albanian basketball, having won the Albanian League 20 times, the Albanian Cup 18 times and the Albanian Supercups 8 times.[1] They have won a total of 46 trophies, and only BC Partizani Tirana have won more in Albania with 48.

History[edit]

Early years (1920–43)[edit]

On 15 August 1920, shortly after Tirana became the capital city of Albania, patriot and football enthusiast Palokë Nika, who had already formed Vllaznia Shkodër built and trained a new team in Tirana, with A. Erebara, P. Jakova, A. Hoxha, Anastas Koja, P. Berisha, Avni Zajmi, H. Fortuzi, B. Pazari, L. Berisha, S. Frasheri, H. Alizoti, A. Gjitomi, and V. Fekeci. The name of the team was Gjurmuesit Republikanë, which a few months later was changed into Agimi Sports Association. The name Agimi (in English: Dawn), was taken from the building in the centre of Tirana near to where they would hold meetings.[2] In 1925 the association's governing council was elected and its members were Avni Zajmi, Selman Stërmasi, B. Toptani, Irfan Gjinali and Anastas Koja. On 16 August 1927, which was the seventh anniversary of the formation of the Agimi Sports Association, the club's name changed into Sportklub Tirana, which would be commonly referred to as SK Tirana.[3] On that day the president of the club was Teki Selenica.[4] Although SK Tirana's early history was dominated by its emphasis on its football department, basketball was experiencing a rise in popularity in Albania at the time and basketball clubs across the country were being set up and friendly games were occasionally being played between clubs from different cities.

Early history and trophies (1944–72)[edit]

After the end of World War II and the liberation of Albania in 1944 Albania fell in the hands of the socialist dictator Enver Hoxha, and soon after sport in the country became organised, with national teams and domestic competitions being set up by the communist regime, and this happened with basketball in 1946. In early March 1946 at the Nacional movie theatre in Tirana, the ruling Communist Politburo had instructed the club to change its name to 17 Nëntori in honour of the Liberation of Tirana which took place on 17 November 1944 and later that year 17 Nëntori became a founding member of the Albanian Basketball League and they won the inaugural National Championship that took place in 1946. They failed to retain the title the following season as local rivals Partizani won the National Championship, but 17 Nëntori were to win 3 consecutive titles between 1948 and 1950.

Recent dominance (2000–present)[edit]

After 12 years drought Tirana got the right rooster and coach and started winning trophies yet again. From 2000 to 2018 they won 27 such, dominating in the country. Such domination continues at present day. On 30 August 2016 it was announced that Tirana would compete in the 2016–17 Balkan International Basketball League, becoming only the second Albanian club to do so after BC Vllaznia.[5][6] Ahead of the 2016–17 season they appointed Macedonian Slobodan Petrovski as head coach,[7][8] and signed Albanian internationals Endrit Hysenagolli, Erkand Karaj as well as foreigners Nemanja Gavranić, Griffin Ramme and Manuel Johnson.[9][10] Tirana played fellow debutants KB Trepça from Kosovo on 10 October 2016 at the Asllan Rusi Sports Palace in front of around 1,100 spectators, and they won 78–66 to claim a victory in their first ever Balkan League game.[11][12]

Contrary to the domestic domination, even by approaching some quality new players and a respectable coach, KB Tirana in the Balkan League has failed to impress so far, despite only some memorable wins. Playing, however their only second season in this level, team needs more experience and perhaps bringing more skillful players to merge properly with the actual rooster.

Home arenas[edit]

Tirana plays its domestic homes games at the Farie Hoti Sports Palace, which has a capacity of around 1,000. Before this arena was built they played their home games at the 2,800 seater Asllan Rusi Sports Palace, which is the main sports arena in Tirana and indeed all of Albania. As of 2016, they play their Balkan International Basketball League home games at the Asllan Rusi Sports Palace as the Farie Hoti Sports Palace does not meet the licensing requirements to stage such games.

However, in 2017 club moved to the Tirana Olympic Park, as a requirement for playing the Balkan League.[13]

Current roster[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

KB Tirana roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
PG 0 United States Ramme, Griffin 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in) 85 kg (187 lb) 28 – (1989-11-01)1 November 1989
SG 5 Albania Vogli, Redi 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 105 kg (231 lb) 31 – (1987-04-29)29 April 1987
SG 7 Albania Durrsi, Reldi 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 83 kg (183 lb) 21 – (1997-05-07)7 May 1997
PG 10 Albania Karaj, Erkand 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 92 kg (203 lb) 36 – (1982-05-02)2 May 1982
SG 11 Albania Lasku, Genti 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) 95 kg (209 lb) 33 – (1985-03-24)24 March 1985
PF 12 Albania Gjyzeli, Abdel 2.04 m (6 ft 8 in) 92 kg (203 lb) 25 – (1993-02-24)24 February 1993
PF 13 Montenegro Gavranić, Nemanja 2.04 m (6 ft 8 in) 94 kg (207 lb) 25 – (1993-03-18)18 March 1993
C 14 Albania Hysenagolli, Endrit 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) 110 kg (243 lb) 29 – (1988-07-05)5 July 1988
PF 15 Albania Shima, Gerti 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 102 kg (225 lb) 32 – (1986-05-06)6 May 1986
PF 20 Albania Gjeci, Joans 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 78 kg (172 lb) 20 – (1998-05-14)14 May 1998
PG 20 Albania Pashaj, Kristian 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) 78 kg (172 lb) 19 – (1999-06-04)4 June 1999
PF 21 United States Johnson, Manuel 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in) 109 kg (240 lb) 35 – (1983-02-01)1 February 1983
G 23 Albania Hasani, Erin 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 118 kg (260 lb) 32 – (1985-08-03)3 August 1985
PG 30 Albania Hysa, Eldi 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 81 kg (179 lb) 18 – (1999-08-30)30 August 1999
Head coach
  • Greece Antonios Doukas
Assistant coach(es)
  • Albania Erdal Borova
  • Albania Onaldo Ago
Physiotherapist(s)
  • Albania Sabahat Kastrati

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • Injured Injured

2016–17 squad changes[edit]

Honours[edit]

1946, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1957, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1971, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018
1961, 1962, 1963, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1977, 1988, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018
2001, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017

International competitions[edit]

Tirana in Europe[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1970–71 FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia KK Zadar 62–72 60–73 122–145
1971–72 FIBA European Champions Cup 1R Syria CJS Aleppo 2–0 2–0 4–0
2R Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Jugoplastika 77–90 58–85 135–175
1973–74 FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup 1R Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia KK Crvena zvezda 83–99 70–114 163–213
Notes
  • QR: Qualifying round
  • 1R: First round
  • 2R: Second round

Tirana in the BIBL[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate Advancing
2016–17 Balkan International Basketball League First Stage
Group B
Kosovo Trepça 78–66 74–68
6th
Republic of Macedonia Feni Industries 63–72 57–98
Montenegro Sutjeska 56–79 61–77
Republic of Macedonia Karpoš Sokoli 83–100 74–78
Kosovo Peja 76–73 72-96 Symbol delete vote.svg
2017–18 Balkan International Basketball League Regular Season Republic of Macedonia Blokotehna 67-92 68-100
6th
Bulgaria Rilski Sportist 78-99 94-79
Bulgaria Academic Plovdiv 61-97 69-90
Bulgaria Levski 79-76 52-105
Republic of Macedonia Kumanovo 75–73 cancelled
Kosovo Bashkimi 75-69 95-101
Montenegro Ibar 95-65 102-107
2017–18 Balkan International Basketball League Play-Off Bulgaria Levski 67-73 75-98
0-2
Symbol delete vote.svg

Head coaches[edit]

Coach Years active
Albania Bujar Shehu 1966–2002
Albania Bujar Shehu 2012–2015[15]
Albania Roland Avrami 2015–2016[16]
Republic of Macedonia Slobodan Petrovski 2016
Montenegro Nikola Milatović 2016–2017
Greece Antonios Doukas 2017

Management[edit]

KB Tirana (women)[edit]

For the women basketball team see KB Tirana (women)

References[edit]

External links[edit]