Last time we met Saša Vural, he just finished his third season in North Cyprus’s top basketball league. The basketball professional from Helsingborg in Sweden, with Cypriot roots, had played in several leagues around the world, including Sweden, Germany, Turkey and the United States. It has been two years since we met Saša in Cyprus, and when we met him now again, it was in his home town, Helsingborg, where he now lives.
After an international professional career, Saša felt he wanted to give something back to the basketball, and therefore he started an association called the Team 4th Quarter. The vision is to have a fun and developing basketball association where anyone interested is welcome.
“I’m passionate about basketball and to help young people believe in themselves and fulfill their dreams. Team 4th Quarter is a way for me to give back to the sport and maybe help to develop tomorrow’s basketball stars”, says Saša.
The association is open for all ages, with the youngest member as young as four years old. There are also teams with adult players.
“Everyone will feel welcome to train with us, one will feel that you develop into a better basketball player, while having fun at the same time. The most important thing is to feel confident and fellowship”, Saša emphasizes.
With the association, Saša also wants to introduce the sport as a tool for the children to create communication with other young people, regardless of background and identity. He wants the children to learn to be good fellow human beings.
Saša’s project has attracted attention all around in Sweden, which has led to Saša representing a Swedish soda water company called Loka earlier this year. The initiative for Loka Heroes comes from the Swedish Basketball Federation, which together with Loka supports people who want to make a difference in society with the help of basketball. The support is given to the association in the form of balls, equipment and marketing.
Today, there are 150 members of the association and Saša is looking forward to a fun autumn season.
“We have many young players who just started playing basketball, and are learning at a fast pace. We also have two of the older teams joining the series and the first home game this season is the 30th of September in Helsingborg”.
When we asked when he plans to visit North Cyprus next time, Saša answers with a smile: “Very soon I hope. It would be really fun to bring Team 4th Quarter on training camps to North Cyprus sometime in the future!”