World basketball map: Switzerland

World basketball map: Switzerland

We are recalling all foreign players that have ever played in the League, telling about foreign championships and National teams of different countries in World basketball map project. Today we’re going to talk about basketball in Switzerland. 

Population: 8.6 mln
Players in the history of League: 1
Full list of playersStefan Petkovic.

Stefan Petkovic is the only Swiss player in the history of VTB United League. In 2012/13 season, he played for Tsmoki-Minsk.

Born in Zurich, he started his career in Fribourg. In 2012/13, he moved to Tsmoki-Minsk and reached 6 games in VTB United League. His average stats were 3.7 points, 0.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.

After Minsk, Stefan Petkovic came back to Swiss league to play for Starwings Basel and Winterthur.

Basketball in Switzerland

League: Swiss Basketball League (SBL)
Founded: 1931
Number of teams: 12
League’s web-site

Swiss basketball league is one of the oldest in Europe celebrating its 89th anniversary this year. 21 teams have won the SBL while Fribourg and Urania are the most titled clubs (18 and 15 wins).

As of today, 12 clubs compete in the SBL. Fribourg – the leader of the league – is the only team to represent Switzerland in Europe. In 2019/20 season, the club played in the Champions League qualification and FIBA Europe Cup regular season.

There are two stages of the regular season (22 games at the first stage and 5 at the second) and then 8 best teams qualify for the playoff. Best-of-five format is used for quarterfinals and semifinals, while the final is played in best-of-seven series.


Ex-VTB United League players Andreas Glyniadakis and Ryan Richards participated and NBA’s Thabo Sefolosha started his career in Switzerland.

Moreover, in 1982, the American coach Jim Boylen started his coaching career in Vevey Riviera. In 1997-2018, Boylen worked in the NBA with Vancouver Grizzlies (assistant), Phoenix Suns (assistant), Atlanta Hawks (assistant), Chicago Bulls (head coach and assistant), Milwaukee Bucks (head coach and assistant) and Cleveland Cavaliers (assistant). In 2016, Boylen won the NBA with Cleveland.

Interesting fact

Switzerland hosted the first ever Eurobasket in 1935. The final games were played in Geneva on May 2nd-7th,

Switzerland National team

FIBA rank: 62
FIBA members: since 1932
Achievements: 3 Olympic and 5 Eurobasket appearances


FIBA was founded on June 18, 1932 at the first international conference of national basketball associations that took place in Geneva. That is the day when Switzerland and seven other nations joined FIBA.

Furthermore, Switzerland hosted the first ever Eurobasket where they took the 4th place. In 1946, it was played in Geneva again, and the hosts were 5th.


In the mid-20th century Switzerland played in Eurobasket and the Olympic Games. 1955 was the last year when Swiss national team took part in global event. Since 1963 they have been playing in Eurobasket qualifications and haven’t reached the final stage in the last 65 years. Switzerland played in Eurobasket’s second division in 2005-2011.

The team’s latest highlights are wins over Russia (79:77) in 2015 Eurobasket qualification and Belgium (82:73) in 2013 Eurobasket qualification.

Switzerland is ranked 62nd by FIBA (35th among European teams).

Most famous Swiss players in history

Clint Capela. 2014 NBA draft pick 25, 6 seasons in the NBA (334 games) averaging 12.2 points and 9.7 rebounds. In 2014, he was the Rookie of the Year and the Most Progressing Player of the French league. In 2015, Clint was in All-D League starting five.

Thabo Sefolosha. 2006 NBA draft pick 13. The first ever Swiss-born player of the NBA. 14 seasons in the NBA (869 games) averaging 5.7 points. In 2005, he took part in the French league All-Star game. In 2010, Thabo was in the second All-NBA defensive five.

Dmitriy Kolinov