BC Kalev, also known as BC Kalev/Cramo for sponsorship reasons, is a professional basketball club based in Tallinn, Estonia. The team plays in the Korvpalli Meistriliiga (KML), the Estonian-Latvian Basketball League and the FIBA Europe Cup. Their home arena is the Kalev Sports Hall.

BC Kalev/Cramo
BC Kalev/Cramo logo
LeaguesKorvpalli Meistriliiga
Estonian-Latvian Basketball League
Founded1998; 26 years ago (1998)
HistoryCanon ENM
BC Kalev/Cramo
ArenaKalev Sports Hall
LocationTallinn, Estonia
Team colorsWhite, Blue
Main sponsorCramo Estonia AS
PresidentToomas Linamäe
Head coachHeiko Rannula
Team captainMartin Dorbek
Championships1 Estonian-Latvian Championship
13 Estonian Championships
9 Estonian Cups

BC Kalev/Cramo have been the most successful Estonian basketball club in the last two decades, having won one Estonian-Latvian League championship, 13 Estonian League championships and nine Estonian Cup titles.

History edit

1998–2005: early years edit

Founded in 1998, the club started out as Canon Eesti noortemeeskond (Canon Estonia junior team). The team was coached by Allan Dorbek and played their home games at Kalev Sports Hall. The club's first season was a disappointment as they finished in last place without winning a single game. In 1999, Ehitustööriist became the official name sponsor of the team. In 2003, the club merged operations with Audentes and became Ehitustööriist/Audentes. However, the merger only lasted one season and Ehitustööriist continued independently.[1]

Ehitustööriist moved to the new Saku Suurhall, now Unibet Arena, for the 2004–05 season. The team also made their debut in the Baltic Basketball League (BBL). In 2005, they won their first Estonian championship, defeating Tartu Ülikool/Rock four games to three in the finals. Howard Frier was named the KML Most Valuable Player (MVP).[1][2]

2005–present: BC Kalev/Cramo edit

Coming off their first ever championship, Ehitustööriist leased the trademark "Kalev" from AS Kalev and became BC Kalev/Cramo, while Allan Dorbek, who had been with the team since the start, was replaced as head coach by Aivar Kuusmaa.[1][3] On 2 October 2005, BC Kalev/Cramo won their first Estonian Cup, defeating TÜ/Rock 70–64 in the final. They also made their debut in a European competition by competing in the 2005–06 season of the FIBA EuroCup, but failed to advance past the group stage.[4] The team successfully defended their Estonian League title in 2006. In the finals, BC Kalev/Cramo edged TÜ/Rock four games to three, winning the deciding seventh game 69–68. James Williams was named the KML Finals MVP. Despite guiding the team to a second consecutive KML championship, Kuusmaa was replaced as head coach by Veselin Matić ahead of the 2006–07 season.

Travis Reed was named both BBL MVP and KML MVP in 2007.

In the 2006–07 season, BC Kalev/Cramo won their second Estonian Cup, but were unable to defend their league title, losing to rivals TÜ/Rock in the finals. The team also finished top-six in the Baltic Basketball League. Travis Reed was named Most Valuable Player in both the BBL and the KML, while Valmo Kriisa won the Estonian Basketball Player of the Year award.[1][5] The team saw limited success in Europe, reaching the second round in the 2006–07 FIBA EuroCup and competing in the 2007–08 ULEB Cup, where they failed to advance past the group stage. The team won another Estonian Cup in 2007. Prior to the 2008–09 season, Nenad Vučinić was hired as the new head coach. BC Kalev/Cramo went on to win their fourth consecutive Estonian Cup. In the 2009 KML Finals, the team defeated TÜ/Rock four games to two, to win their third Estonian League title. Kristjan Kangur was named KML Finals MVP and Estonian Basketball Player of the Year, but left the team after the 2008–09 season. In July 2009, they joined the newly established VTB United League. In December 2009, Vučinić left BC Kalev/Cramo and was succeeded by assistant coach Alar Varrak. The team struggled in the 2009–10 KML season and finished the regular season in fourth place. In the playoffs, BC Kalev/Cramo lost to TÜ/Rock in the semifinals, but beat TTÜ Korvpalliklubi in the series for the third place.

Tanel Sokk was a two-time KML Finals MVP (2012 and 2013).

Aivar Kuusmaa returned to coach BC Kalev/Cramo prior to the 2010–11 season. The team finished the regular season in first place and swept the playoffs, beating TÜ/Rock in four games in the finals. Armands Šķēle won the KML Finals MVP award. Led by Gregor Arbet and Tanel Sokk, BC Kalev/Cramo successfully defended their title in the 2011–12 season, defeating Tartu Ülikool in another four-game sweep in the finals. Sokk was named MVP for the series.[1]

Gregor Arbet helped BC Kalev/Cramo win seven KML titles.

BC Kalev/Cramo struggled early in the 2012–13 season and on 24 November 2012, Kuusmaa was fired and replaced by assistant coach Alar Varrak.[6] However, despite the poor start, the team finished the regular season in first place and again swept the playoffs, beating TÜ/Rock in the finals as Tanel Sokk claimed his second straight KML Finals MVP. They also placed third in the Baltic Basketball League. The team, led by Frank Elegar, Vlad Moldoveanu and Rain Veideman, played in the Eurocup in the 2013–14 season, but failed to advance past the group stage. BC Kalev/Cramo, however, continued to be successful in the Estonian League as they swept the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, once again defeating TÜ/Rock in the finals, with Moldoveanu being named Finals MVP. In 2015, BC Kalev/Cramo, led by Scott Machado, once again faced TÜ/Rock in the KML Finals, only this time losing the series 4–1.

BC Kalev/Cramo won their fifth Estonian Cup in 2015. The team finished the 2015–16 KML regular season undefeated and extended their winning streak in the quarter- and semifinals. In the finals, they once again faced TÜ/Rock, winning the series 4–1. Rolands Freimanis was named the KML Finals MVP.[7] In 2016, BC Kalev/Cramo won another Estonian Cup. They successfully defended their KML title in the 2016–17 season, sweeping AVIS UTILITAS Rapla in four games in the finals. Branko Mirković won the Finals MVP award. In November 2017, Varrak was fired after a poor start to the season and replaced by Donaldas Kairys. Under Kairys, the team, led by Isaiah Briscoe, won their third consecutive KML championship in 2018 by sweeping Tartu Ülikool in four games in the finals. Kristjan Kangur, who returned to the club after eight years, was named Finals MVP.

Kristjan Kangur led the team to three KML titles and was named KML Finals MVP twice.

In 2018, the Estonian-Latvian Basketball League was formed. BC Kalev/Cramo finished the league's inaugural season in third place. They lost to VEF Riga 90–80 in the semifinals but beat BK Ogre 87–85 in the third place game. With Arnett Moultrie leading the charge, they made the VTB United League playoffs for the first time in team history in 2019, but were swept in three games by UNICS Kazan in the quarterfinals. BC Kalev/Cramo also won their fourth consecutive KML title in 2019, sweeping Tallinna Kalev/TLÜ in three games in the finals. Branko Mirković was named KML Finals MVP for the second time. Kairys left the team in June 2019, and was replaced as head coach by Roberts Štelmahers. The 2019–20 season was halted and ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with no champions declared. The 2020–21 season proved to be the most successful in the club's history. On 20 December 2020, BC Kalev/Cramo won their seventh Estonian Cup, beating Rakvere Tarvas in the final. The team went on to win their first Estonian-Latvian Basketball League title, defeating VEF Riga 86–75 in the final. Maurice Kemp was awarded MVP of the final tournament.[8] Led by Marcus Keene and Chavaughn Lewis, BC Kalev/Cramo also clinched their 12th Estonian championship by defeating Pärnu Sadam three games to one in the KML Finals. Lewis won the Finals MVP award.[9] On 24 February 2022, they withdrew from the VTB United League due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, ending their 13-year stay in the league. In the 2022 KML Playoffs, BC Kalev/Cramo were defeated by the eventual champions Pärnu Sadam in the semifinals, making it the first time the team missed the KML Finals since 2010. In the series for third place, they beat TalTech/OPTIBET.

After the 2021–22 season, Štelmahers was replaced as head coach by Heiko Rannula, who had previously coached Pärnu Sadam. They won their eighth Estonian Cup, beating Viimsi/Sportland in the final. BC Kalev/Cramo made it to the FIBA Europe Cup semifinals in 2023, where they were defeated by Cholet Basket.[10] Led by Artur Konontšuk and Oleksandr Kovliar, the team swept through the 2023 KML Playoffs, defeating Tallinna Kalev/Audentes, Viimsi/Sportland, and Tartu Ülikool Maks & Moorits to win their 13th KML championship. Kovliar was named the KML Finals MVP.

Sponsorship naming edit

  • Canon ENM: 1998–1999
  • Ehitustööriist: 1999–2005
  • BC Kalev/Cramo: 2005–present

Logos edit

Home arenas edit

Players edit

Current roster edit

Note: Flags indicate national team eligibility at FIBA-sanctioned events. Players may hold other non-FIBA nationality not displayed.

BC Kalev/Cramo roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht. Wt. Age
SG 3   Kitsing, Kaspar   1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 85 kg (187 lb) 22 – (2001-07-25)25 July 2001
PG 6   Shungu, Ben 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 91 kg (201 lb) 26 – (1997-10-04)4 October 1997
SG 7   Jurkatamm, Mikk 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in) 85 kg (187 lb) 23 – (2000-09-18)18 September 2000
SF 8   Kurbas, Tanel 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 90 kg (198 lb) 36 – (1988-05-08)8 May 1988
PG 9   Kaukiainen, Severi 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in) 83 kg (183 lb) 26 – (1998-05-11)11 May 1998
SF 10   Toom, Hugo   2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 97 kg (214 lb) 21 – (2002-10-25)25 October 2002
SG 11   Böckler, Leemet 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) 90 kg (198 lb) 23 – (2001-04-07)7 April 2001
PF 12   Kirves, Mihkel   2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) 105 kg (231 lb) 27 – (1996-12-06)6 December 1996
PF 13   Hermet, Kregor 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 104 kg (229 lb) 26 – (1997-06-09)9 June 1997
C 14   Shephard, Grant 2.10 m (6 ft 11 in) 106 kg (234 lb) 25 – (1999-04-07)7 April 1999
C 20   Nurger, Rauno 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 108 kg (238 lb) 30 – (1993-11-24)24 November 1993
SG 22   Dorbek, Martin (C) 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 85 kg (187 lb) 33 – (1991-01-21)21 January 1991
SF 31   Bērziņš, Jānis   2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) 96 kg (212 lb) 31 – (1993-05-04)4 May 1993
C 44   Suárez, Manny 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in) 112 kg (247 lb) 30 – (1993-11-12)12 November 1993
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  •   Priit Lehismets
  •   Henriette Porila

  • (C) Team captain
  •   Injured

Updated: 13 March 2024

Depth chart edit

Pos. Starting 5 Bench 1 Bench 2 Bench 3
C Manny Suárez Rauno Nurger
PF Mihkel Kirves Kregor Hermet
SF Hugo Toom Tanel Kurbas
SG Martin Dorbek Mikk Jurkatamm Leemet Böckler Kaspar Kitsing
PG Severi Kaukiainen Ben Shungu

Coaches edit

Season by season edit

Season Tier Division Pos. Estonian Cup Baltic competitions Other competitions European competitions
1998–99 1 EKKA 6th
1999–00 1 EKKA 7th
2000–01 1 EKKA 7th Semifinalist
2001–02 1 EKKA 7th
2002–03 1 KML 7th Quarterfinalist
2003–04 1 KML 5th Semifinalist
2004–05 1 KML 1st Quarterfinalist Baltic Basketball League 7th
2005–06 1 KML 1st Champion Baltic Basketball League 9th 3 FIBA EuroCup R1
2006–07 1 KML 2nd Champion Baltic Basketball League 6th 3 FIBA EuroCup R2
2007–08 1 KML 2nd Champion Baltic Basketball League 6th 2 ULEB Cup RS
2008–09 1 KML 1st Champion Baltic Basketball League 5th 3 EuroChallenge RS
2009–10 1 KML 3rd Runner-up Baltic Basketball League 7th VTB United League RS
2010–11 1 KML 1st Third place Baltic Basketball League 9th VTB United League RS
2011–12 1 KML 1st Runner-up Baltic Basketball League 7th VTB United League RS
2012–13 1 KML 1st Third place Baltic Basketball League 3rd VTB United League RS
2013–14 1 KML 1st Runner-up VTB United League RS 2 Eurocup RS
2014–15 1 KML 2nd Third place Baltic Basketball League EF VTB United League 9th
2015–16 1 KML 1st Champion VTB United League 14th 3 FIBA Europe Cup RS
2016–17 1 KML 1st Champion Baltic Basketball League 4th VTB United League 11th
2017–18 1 KML 1st VTB United League 12th 3 Champions League QR2
2018–19 1 KML 1st Estonian-Latvian Basketball League 3rd VTB United League 7th
2019–20 1 KML 1st[a] Estonian-Latvian Basketball League [a] VTB United League [a]
2020–21 1 KML 1st Champion Estonian-Latvian Basketball League C VTB United League 10th
2021–22 1 KML 3rd Runner-up Estonian-Latvian Basketball League 5th VTB United League WD[b] 3 Champions League RS
2022–23 1 KML 1st Champion Estonian-Latvian Basketball League 4th European North Basketball League RS 4 FIBA Europe Cup SF
2023–24 1 KML Champion Estonian-Latvian Basketball League 2nd 4 FIBA Europe Cup RS
  1. ^ a b c The season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. ^ The club withdrew from the league due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Trophies and awards edit

Trophies edit

Winners (13): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020–21, 2022–23
Runners-up (3): 2006–07, 2007–08, 2014–15
Winners (9): 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2020, 2022, 2024
Runners-up (4): 2009, 2011, 2013, 2021
Winners (1): 2020–21
Runners-up (1): 2023–24

Individual awards edit

KML Most Valuable Player

KML Finals MVP

KML Best Defender

KML Coach of the Year

All-KML Team

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Klubist". BCKalev.ee (in Estonian). Archived from the original on 16 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Korvpallihooaja 2004/05 parimad". Delfi Sport (in Estonian). 9 June 2005. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  3. ^ "Kalev on surnud? Elagu Kalev!". Eesti Ekspress (in Estonian). 30 June 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  4. ^ "BC Kalev trash PAOK for first victory". FIBAEurope.com. 29 November 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Valiti korvpallihooaja 2006/2007 parimad". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). 6 June 2007. Retrieved 10 July 2023.
  6. ^ "AMETLIK: Kalev/Cramo lõpetas Kuusmaaga koostöö, peatreenerina jätkab Varrak". Delfi Sport (in Estonian). 24 November 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  7. ^ "Kalev/Cramo kindlustas meistritiitli koguni 27-punktise võiduga!". Delfi Sport (in Estonian). 27 May 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  8. ^ "BC Kalev/Cramo defeated VEF in Paf League final, Ogre brought home the bronze". EstLatBL.com. 12 April 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Pärnu Sadama hoog rauges kolmandal veerandajal, Kalev/Cramo võitis 12. Eesti meistritiitli". Delfi Sport (in Estonian). 17 May 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Cholet complete comeback as Anwil await in Finals". FIBA.basketball. 5 April 2023. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  11. ^ "Kalevi Spordihall". spordiregister.ee (in Estonian). Retrieved 1 March 2022.

External links edit