Sagesse SC (basketball)

Sagesse Sports Club (French: Club Sportif La Sagesse, lit.'The Wisdom Sports Club'), known as Hekmeh (Arabic: الحكمة‎) in Arabic, is a Lebanese sports club based in Beirut.

Sagesse Club - Basketball team
نادي الحكمة - فريق كرة السلة
Sagesse Club - Basketball team نادي الحكمة - فريق كرة السلة logo
  • القَلعَة الخَضراء (The Green Castle)
    ملوك آسيا (Kings of Asia)
LeaguesLebanese Basketball League (FLB League): Div.1
HistorySagesse BC
ArenaAntoine Choueiri Stadium
LocationAshrafieh, Beirut, Lebanon
Team colorsGreen, White
PresidentLebanon Elie Yahchoushi
Head coachLebanon Joe Ghattas
Affiliation(s)Collège de la Sagesse of the Maronite Catholic Archeparchy of Beirut
Championships8 Lebanese Championships
3 FIBA Asia Champions Cups
3 West Asian Championships
2 Arab Club Basketball Championships

The basketball team was established in 1992, as part of the historic Club Sagesse established in 1943 with mainly the football (soccer) team. The basketball team became far more popular than the initial football team thus making the basketball branch the most popular branch of the club, due to its phenomenal record breaking success since its formation in the early nineties in the newly reformed Lebanese league, the Arab and the FIBA Asia championships.


Al-Hikma in classical Arabic, El-Hekmeh in Lebanese dialect stands for "wisdom", thus also the French alternative name of the club, Sagesse (meaning wisdom in French).[citation needed]

The historical Hekmeh club was founded in Beirut in 1943 under the patronage of the late father Boulos Kik, supported by late Mgr. Jean Maroun, with affiliation to the lebanese forces, Collège de la Sagesse of the Maronite Catholic Church a leading educational institution in Lebanon and the East since 1875 but despite the affiliation with the Sagesse College the club has its own independent administration. The basketball program was founded in 1992.[citation needed]

In 1992 the club was financed by media tycoon also dubbed as the Godfather of Lebanese basketball, president Antoine Choueiri, he wanted a team that will achieve unprecedented success and popularity in a bid to change Lebanese sports history forever and unite all Lebanese behind a successful team that will represent Lebanon and Lebanese basketball in every possible competition on a national and international level.[1][2][3][4]

After the Choueiri takeover in 1992 Hekmeh/Sagesse included on its roster some of the most impactful player names including Lebanese national basketball team legends Elie Mechantaf and Fadi El Khatib, notable foreigners that at the time were among the elite of foreign basketball players in Asia including ex-NBA players and FIBA world cup participants a high level of players that was never seen before in the Lebanese league and the neighbouring countries and under the management of the most decorated national basketball coach Ghassan Sarkis, a dominant dream team was born taking Lebanese Basketball to new heights, achieving the goals that were set by Choueiri such as the ones mentioned in the previous passage.[5][6][4]

Sagesse became one of the most successful basketball clubs in Lebanon and the MENA region with 8 Lebanese Basketball League Championships, 7 Lebanese Basketball Cups, 2 Arab Club Championships, and 3 FIBA Asia Champions Cup titles. Hekmeh made history as well by being the first Lebanese club to win the Arab Club Championship[7] and the first Lebanese and first Arab club to win the FIBA Asia Champions Cup.[8][9]

Also, Sagesse is the only Arab and only Asian club to ever participate in the basketball club world championship, the McDonald's Championship organized by FIBA and the NBA, it was at the 1999 edition when Sagesse went as the Asian champions. The 1999 McDonald's Championship was the first and only time FIBA Asia was represented in the tournament.[10][11]

This exceptional participation and the way Sagesse represented Asia at the Mcdonald's Championship in Milano was praised by then Commissioner of the NBA David Stern and by former Secretary General of the FIBA Borislav Stanković among other officials.[12]

In 2012 Sagesse B.C. won a friendly game against Turkish team Galatasaray S.K. during a training camp that the club was holding in Turkey, this was the most significant game and win for a Lebanese team or any team in the region against a European team in recent times.[13][14]

In the post Choueiri era, from 2004 onwards, which was the last year the team won the Lebanese Championship, the club struggled to find consistency at the administrative level despite the involvement of many businessmen and political figures, these involvements were seen as well as a possible reason for the club's struggles rather than being helpful gestures; and despite having the finances to build a good team the club was still struggling with debt; compared to the Choueiri era the club has achieved mediocre success with inconsistent overall form through the seasons in spite of reaching many finals in different competitions.[15]

In the latest election of the club's general assembly "Choueiry Group" top official Mr. Elie Yahchouchi was elected club president; he was Antoine Choueiri's vice president during the late tycoon's tenure at the club. Also Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon H.E. Ghassan Hasbani was elected head of the board of trustees. Many reforms, overhauls and major investments have been made since in addition to constructive future plans that were announced in the club's huge team presentation ceremony ahead of the 2019/20 season.[16][17]


Beirut DerbyEdit

There is often a fierce rivalry between the two strongest teams in a national league, and this is particularly the case in the Lebanese basketball league, where the classical game between Club Sagesse and Riyadi is known as Beirut Derby. From the start of the national league the clubs were seen as successful representatives of two different sides in Lebanon and the two most popular teams in the country.[18][19]



Lebanese Basketball League
  • Champions (8 Times): 1993-94, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999-2000, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04
Lebanese Basketball Cup
  • Champions (7 Times): 1993, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
Arab Club Championship
  • Champions (2 Times): 1998, 1999
FIBA Asia Champions Cup
  • Champions (3 Times):[24][25] 1999, 2000, 2004. (Record)
WABA Champions Cup
  • Champions (3 Times): 2002, 2004, 2005
  • Runner-up  : 2006 ( Shared with Saba Battery, therefore no champion was crowned )
International friendly tournaments
  • 1999 McDonald's Basketball Club World Championship (Participant) [26][27]
  • 2001: Damascus International Tournament (champions)
  • 2002: Dubai International Tournament (champions)
  • 2014: Qadisiya International Tournament (champions)
  • 2014: Abu Dhabi International Tournament (champions)
  • 2016: Dubai International Tournament (champions)
Special Awards
  • 1999 Best professional basketball team in Asia.

(Specially awarded by FIBA Asia known as the Asian Basketball Confederation back then for the first time in 1999 with Sagesse Club as the inaugural winner.)[28]

Medals and decorationsEdit

  National Order of the Cedar

Knight in 1999 [29]

Officer in 2000 [30]

Awarded to the club for its unprecedented success in the Lebanese, Arab and Asian basketball championships that highly contributed into the development and rise of the Lebanese basketball and sports in Lebanon on many levels.


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

Sagesse roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Nat. Name Ht.
SG 0   Abdel Masih, Aziz 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
PF 9   Arnaout, Alaaddine 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in)
SG 1   Souaid, Nadim 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
PF/C 34   Chism, Wayne 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in)
PG 15   Hodge, Walter 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
PG 33   Khoueiry, Marc 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
G 31   Haddad, Mike 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
G 12   Chartouny, Joseph 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
C 9   Tabet, Charles 2.05 m (6 ft 9 in)
SF 13   Khoury, Mark 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
PG 5   Ghantous, Youssef 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
G 14   Morris, Earvin 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  •   Injured

Notable peopleEdit

Club presidentsEdit

Notable coachesEdit

Notable playersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Documentary about Antoine Choueiri including a part about his vision , plans and success for Sagesse and Lebanese basketball
  2. ^ "A VERY SAD DAY FOR LEBANESE BASKETBALL - Federation Libanaise de Basketball". SportsTG. Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  3. ^ "الـ"بريزيدان" أنطوان شويري باني نهضة كرة السلة الحديثة". Lebanese Forces Official Website. Mar 10, 2010. Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "حلم كرة السلة… حقيقة". Lebanese Forces Official Website. Mar 10, 2010. Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^الحكمة-بطل-الأندية-العربية-لكرة-السلة-لبنان-يرتدي-اللون-الأخضر.html
  8. ^ "صفحة 16 (30-5-1999)". Addiyar. Apr 11, 2014. Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  9. ^أول-ناد-عربي-يحرز-اللقب-الحكمة-اللبناني-على-قمة-آسيا-في-كرة-السلة.html[permanent dead link]
  10. ^
  11. ^ "الصفحة غير موجودة". Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  12. ^ Video showing Mr.Choueiri at a TV show with the team and staff and Tom McCarthy, chief executive of ABC (Fiba Asia) Promotions, Ltd. just after the 1999 Mcdonald's world championship saying what Mr.Stern and Mr.Stankovic said about Sagesse
  13. ^ " - is for sale (Malaaeb)". Retrieved Nov 18, 2020. Cite uses generic title (help)
  14. ^ "Sports News Lebanon - Malaeeb Mobile". Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  15. ^ "SportKello - 8 استقالات رئاسية في الحكمة خلال 11 سنة: شويري ،فريحة ،شلهوب ،شهوان، خوري،المقدسي،مشنتف وحكيم و.....!!!!". Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  16. ^كرة-السلة/الدوري-اللبناني/نادي-الحكمة-يقدم-فريقي-كرة-السلة-وكرة-السلة-في-حفل-تاريخي
  17. ^ "الحكمة بيروت قدم فريقيه لكرتي القدم والسلة.. ورسالة من رئيس الجمهورية". Lebanon24. Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  18. ^ reporter, Charles Storch, Tribune staff. "For drama, NBA Finals aren't in Lebanon's league". Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  19. ^ a New Zealand documentary about the Beirut Derby the Classical game of the Lebanese basketball league.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2011-11-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "منتديات كووورة". Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  23. ^ "404 - الصفحة غير موجودة".
  24. ^ check last paragraph
  25. ^ "All Time Medalists". Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Video showing the handing of the award to the club.
  29. ^ "الصفحة 16 (3-6-1999)". Addiyar. Apr 11, 2014. Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.
  30. ^ ""LA SAGESSE" ADULÉE PAR UN PEUPLE EN DÉLIRE". Retrieved Nov 18, 2020.

External linksEdit