FIBA Europe officially unveiled its new division, the Techno Centre, to the local community of Gran Canaria and the entire world on Friday.
The more than 300 distinguished guests from the sports, business and educational world that accepted the invitation of FIBA Europe to come to the Spanish island in the Atlantic Ocean were treated to a taste of the future in sport technology.
In a place that carries so much history though, any introduction to the future had to contain a taste of the past.
The Mayor of Las Palmas, Juan José Cardona, received the guests in the Salon Dorado of the old Town Hall, just a few meters away from the house that Christopher Columbus stayed just before setting off for the New World.
In the impressive 16th century building with the rococo interiors, that was refurbished after a big fire in the 19th century, the mayor thanked FIBA Europe for the confidence it had shown to Gran Canaria by selecting it as the seat of the Techno Centre and expressed his conviction that it will be vindicated for this choice.
The presentation of the Techno Centre and the opening ceremony started at 7pm local time in the Scientific and Technology Park of the University.
FIBA Europe Secretary General Nar Zanolin opened proceedings by providing the backdrop of the story of the Techno Centre.
"The idea of a technological institution was born on this very island many years ago," Mr Zanolin said.
"Today, the Techno Centre, unique in its kind in the entire world, is officially in operation on this island, and I could not feel happier because for me this is my second home," he added.
It was a very special night for FIBA Europe Head of Operations Miguel Betancor, the heart and mind of the Techno Centre.
"I have officiated so many finals in my career as referee, but his one is the most important and the most difficult of all," Mr Betancor stated.
"It all started in 2003, when I first joined FIBA Europe with a vision and today this is a great victory that would not be possible without the support of all the people that supported me, my family, my compatriots and the people that make up that the big family of FIBA Europe," he said.
FIBA Europe President Olafur Rafnsson thanked the local authorities and singled out Miguel Betancor's enthusiasm as the driving force behind a project that he hopes "will bring success and prosperity to this island, this very unique place."
"In the growing competition among the top level sports, my opinion is that technology will make all the difference, like a point at the end of a basketball game," Mr Rafnsson affirmed.
"In today's world there are a lot of good ideas, but when Miguel Betancor presented to me with conviction the idea of the Techno Centre, it was an idea with common sense, reasonable, sensible, viable," Paulino Rivero, the Head of the Canary Islands Government explained.
"It made it easy to take the decision to invest in this project, even amidst the financial crisis, and take advantage of all the potential of our talented people and our university."