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Basketball joined the list of compulsory sports at the Universiade in Turin in 1959. Only men’s basketball tournament was held at that time. In 1961, university basketball was opened for women in Sofia, Bulgaria.
At the beginning of the 20th century Stepan Vasilyev, a member of the Mayak Saint Petersburg Society for Youth Assistance on Moral, Intellectual and Physical Education, translated basketball rules into Russian. He was fascinated with the game and persuaded his Mayak colleagues to test it. The historic match took place in Saint Petersburg in December, 1906. Moscow and Saint Petersburg later became centres of basketball development in Russia. In 1909 the country hosted the first official tournament. In the same year the first international match was held against the basketball ancestors, YMCA team. The Russian team scored a sensational victory.
There are two professional basketball clubs in Tatarstan: UNICS (men's team) and Kazanochka (women's team).
UNICS BC was founded in 1991, and Kazanochka was established in 2009.
UNICS is silver winner of Super League Championships in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007 and bronze winner in 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010. In April 2004, UNICS became the champion of the FIBA-Europe League, and in April 2011 the team won the European Cup. And in 2012 UNICS reached the Euroleague quarterfinals.
In the season 2011/2012 Kazanochka BC placed first in the Super League Regular Season and claimed gold medals.
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