Bank of Lithuania issues coins celebrating 100 years of basketball in Lithuania
Today the Bank of Lithuania issued into circulation the €2 commemorative coin celebrating 100 years of basketball in Lithuania. The national side of the coin features the contour of the map of Lithuania arranged as a basketball court. The coin will be issued in a mintage of 750,000 and will be legal tender across the euro area.
“The coin celebrating 100 years of basketball will remind us and other Europeans about the significance of basketball in Lithuania. For Lithuanians it is more than just a sport or leisure activity. It is part of our national identity and culture, one of the things that unite us. There is hardly an area in the country that does not have a real or an improvised basketball court. Metaphorically, Lithuania is one big basketball court, and the coin reflects that,” said Simonas Krėpšta, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania. He will present the coin at the celebration of the centenary of Lithuanian basketball which will take place at the Lithuanian House of Basketball on 22 April.
The first official basketball match in Lithuania was played 100 years ago in Kaunas, on 23 April 1922.
In the accompanying e-brochure, Ignas Grinevičius, creator and host of sport and current affairs programmes, claims that “basketball became one of the reasons for national revival as Kaunas Žalgiris victories against CSKA Moscow in 1980s were perceived by the nation as victories achieved by Lithuania itself”.
The national side of the coin was designed by Egidijus Rapolis. The coin has the same common side as regular circulation coins, it was designed by Luc Luycx.
The edge of the coin bears the inscription LAISVĖ*VIENYBĖ*GEROVĖ (FREEDOM*UNITY*WELL-BEING).
These are not the first coins issued by the Bank of Lithuania that are dedicated to basketball. Basketball was commemorated by the silver coin dedicated to the XXVI Olympic Games in Atlanta and by gold and non-ferrous metal coins issued in 2011 to celebrate the European Basketball Championship.
The coin celebrating 100 years of basketball in Lithuania will be issued in a mintage of 750,000, of which 7,500 are of BU quality in a numismatic package. Collectors were already able to purchase them during a pre-sale on the Bank of Lithuania’s e-shop. Coins of standard quality are exchanged according to their denomination at the Bank of Lithuania Cash Offices. Coins will also reach the population through points of sale, they will be used in daily settlements.
Simonas Krėpšta, Member of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, will present the coin on 22 April at 18:30 during an event dedicated to celebrating 100 years of basketball in Lithuania. Organised by the Lithuanian Basketball Federation at the Lithuanian House of Basketball, the event will host Lithuania’s basketball community, heads of state and municipalities as well as guests from abroad (by invitation only).