A press conference held by basketball club “Valga-Valka/Maks & Moorits”

On 26th of June basketball club “Valga-Valka/Maks & Moorits” held a press conference at the Valga Sports Hall in which journalists and other interested parties had the opportunity to meet the new club’s head coach, find out about the team’s roster and the club’s goals of the next season.


The conference was opened by Margus Lepik, Mayor of Valga Municipality Government, who admitted that the previous season for the club was not as successful as hoped. "We understand that there are a lot of things that need to change,” added Vents Armands Krauklis, Mayor of Valka Municipality Council.


“We need to attract more young people from both countries - Latvia and Estonia, who would like to play in the higher league and, of course, work hard. This is the main reason why we chose coaches who are very experienced in working with youth,” explained V.A. Krauklis.


Basketball club’s "Valga-Valka/Maks & Moorits" head coach next season will be Marko Zarkovic. Last season, Marko was the main coach for the Jēkabpils club but he has also worked with youth before.


At the press conference, visitors also had the opportunity to learn about the new project “VEF Basketball Academy in Valka”, which has already started with the first training camp in Valka.


Jānis Butāns was chosen as the main coach for the new project. Butāns has previously worked in Riga with the basketball school “Ķeizars” and was the head coach of U14 Latvian team and second coach of U18 and U20.


"We have been in Valka since the beginning of June and both the city and the infrastructure are at a very good level," said Mr. Butāns. “The next step is to bring here the VEF club specialists who will work with kids. It is my responsibility help students to make the transition from the youth leagues to the adult leagues.”

The academy's team of students will play in the LBL 2 tournament, but the best players will also practice their skills in the professional “Valga-Valka/Maks & Moorits” team in the Latvian-Estonian Basketball League.


“We want to invite Estonians who are ready to participate in this academy to start training and become professional players. My colleagues in Valga are ready to help with the opportunities to study at Valga Gymnasium or Valga Vocational School, but the training process would be in Valka. Like Latvian youth, they would have a chance to be part of the big team,” says V.A. Krauklis.


“We are excited to be part of this project and we want to bring new energy into this team. We want to show to everybody that this team is the right place for the young players who want to get better and get the chance to improve their level but at the same time we want to create result because this is important because this is professional basketball and professional league and both sides of the border are expecting results,” tells J. Butāns

“The focus is on highschool level kids. This year, it will be guys born in years 2003 and 2001. Of course, we would also like to see talented guys born in 2004 and younger,” says Butāns.



“VEF Basketball Academy in Valka is very interested in attracting students from the southern parts of Estonia, but of course if a good player from Tallinn wants and is ready to come here, he would have this opportunity,” comments V.A. Krauklis.




The information was prepared by:

Ivo Leitis

Valka Municipality Council

Public Relations Specialist



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