Europeans pity “Hatis”?
“Hatis” came as a surprise, caused uproar and was beloved by everyone.
In December 2008, two friends came up with the idea of creating a basketball club during a discussion and within two months, the idea that seemed crazy at first started turning into a reality. President of the federation Hrachya Rostomyan says that he had the idea of creating a basketball club when he became president of the federation. After being at the International Basketball Federation in Munich and conducting studies for a week, they realized that they had to do something to spark interest in basketball among athletes, as well as businessmen and other layers of society. The two created a board of directors composed of 7 people. Each of the members is responsible for any field. According to Mr. Rostomyan, one of the guarantees of their success is that everyone knows what he or she is doing, starting from the driver and up to the president. “There were 400-500 people going to watch basketball games in Gyumri. We thought about causing an “explosion” in Yerevan to spark interest and the best way of doing that was to hold international games in Armenia,” says Mr. Rostomyan. But when they decided to apply for the Euro Cup play-offs, it turned out that the deadline for submission of applications was over. However, they decided to try their luck and…it worked. “Hatis” was given the opportunity to participate in the qualification round. “Hatis” was put to the test at the Euro Cup play-offs only two months since its foundation. The lottery showed that the competitors of Armenia’s “newly created” club were the three strong teams, including the Russian “Chevakata”, the Greek “Atinaikos” and the Turkish “Beshiktash”. They were trying to console the Armenians with the Olympic slogan “The important thing is participation.” Everything was ready and the only thing left were finances and players. The first contract was signed with Boyana Vulich. According to the club administration, Vulich was elected the senior player because he had shown special qualities of a leader during the first practice and was able to lead the team. At first, people underestimated “Hatis” and there were even free seats in the “Mika” gym during the first game. But the first victory got everything back on track with a large army of fans that grew after each victory. Today, the major issue of the club and the federation is to have their own gym. Men’s basketball was very strong in Georgia during the years of the Soviet Union, but women’s basketball remained weak to this day. In Armenia, it was the opposite. Women’s basketball was more developed. There are no basketball games in Azerbaijan; instead, the Azerbaijani are good volleyball players. The change of members had an impact on the quality of “Hatis” last two games, particularly the absence of chief player Maurita Raid. But it is not excluded that he will come back to “Hatis” next year. Nevertheless, “Hatis” is ready for new victories. The team will participate in the European women’s basketball championship to be held in summer 2010 in Armenia.