The inaugural Dunking Diplomats charity basketball tournament was a slam-dunk, bringing 50 diplomats and their families from a dozen nations together and raising £10,000 for charity, thanks to generous sponsorship from IDS, Diplomatic Card, the Austrian National Tourist Office and Silhouette Eyewear.
The winning team, the European All-Stars – with skilled players from Britain, Greece, Lithuania, Serbia and Sweden – displayed impressive unity under extreme pressure from rivals Global Shooting stars, which included the Ambassador of Austria and his son Thomas, the Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina and his son Dusan, the Ambassador of Slovenia, as well as Tomislav Vlahutin, consul at the Croatian Embassy.
With scores even at half-time, the game went down to the final basket as the star player of the Global Shooting Stars, Dusan Neskovic tried valiantly to score a three-pointer as the clock ran down. But he was triple-tagged by a determined European defence who held on to their lead to claim glory.
But the real winners of the day were the youngsters of Greenhouse Sports, a London-based charity committed to using sport to help young people living in the inner city realise their potential. A number of the Greenhouse kids participated on the day as coaches and referees, and it was heart-warming to see their confidence grow with each game.
As co-founder of Dunking Diplomats, the Ambassador of Austria Martin Eichtinger said at the pre-tournament reception at his Residence: “It is sport that unites people around the world. Sports means competition, but also fairness, team spirit and equality of opportunity.”
Embassy magazine was proud to support the tournament and plans are under way for next year.