Latvia-Estonia BL 12/10 16:00 - VEF Riga vs Tallinna Kalev/Audentes - View
Latvia-Estonia BL 12/15 17:00 - VEF Riga vs TALTECH - View
Basketball Champions League 12/19 17:00 6 Darussafaka vs VEF Riga - View
Latvia-Estonia BL 12/27 17:30 - Rigas Zelli vs VEF Riga - View
Latvia-Estonia BL 12/29 16:00 - VEF Riga vs Liepajas Lauvas - View
Latvia-Estonia BL 01/06 14:00 - VEF Riga vs BC Tartu - View


Basketball Champions League 12/05 17:30 5 [4] VEF Riga v Tenerife [1] W 77-72
Latvia-Estonia BL 12/01 17:00 - [15] Valmiera v VEF Riga [5] W 85-105
Latvia-Estonia BL 11/28 17:00 - [1] Kalev/Cramo v VEF Riga [4] L 73-66
Latvia-Estonia BL 11/25 15:00 - [5] VEF Riga v Keila [11] W 81-60
Basketball Champions League 11/21 17:30 4 [4] VEF Riga v Cholet [3] W 70-63
Latvia-Estonia BL 11/17 17:00 - [12] Rapla v VEF Riga [5] W 71-85
Latvia-Estonia BL 11/14 17:00 - [8] BK Liepaja v VEF Riga [6] W 78-85
Latvia-Estonia BL 11/11 13:00 - [15] Latvijas Universitate v VEF Riga [7] W 72-85
Basketball Champions League 11/08 20:00 3 [3] Tenerife v VEF Riga [4] L 76-55
Latvia-Estonia BL 11/04 13:00 - [8] VEF Riga v KK Viimsi [15] W 96-46
Latvia-Estonia BL 10/29 17:00 - [2] Prometey v VEF Riga [7] L 70-66
Basketball Champions League 10/25 18:00 2 [4] Cholet v VEF Riga [3] L 74-73

Wikipedia - BK VEF Rīga

VEF Rīga is a Latvian professional basketball team that is based in Riga, Latvia. VEF Rīga is a ten-time Latvian Basketball League champion.


Early years

The club name VEF came from the radio manufacturing company VEF which created the basketball club in 1958. VEF Rīga has been home to some of the best Latvian players for over five decades. In the beginning with legendary Alfrēds Krauklis as head coach and players like Cezars Ozers, Oļģerts Jurgensons, Bruno Drake, Juris Kalnins, Edmunds Dobelis, Juris Merksons, Visvaldis Eglitis and others, VEF soon started to compete in the Soviet Union League. Back in those days, Latvia was a reference in Soviet and European basketball, as ASK Rīga was the best team in the continent, winning three consecutive European Cup titles from 1958 and 1960 with stars like Jānis Krūmiņš, Maigonis Valdmanis and head coach Aleksander Gomelskiy. ASK's tremendous success overshadowed VEF's achievements, such as finishing third in the very competitive USSR championship in 1960. VEF's star player Cezars Ozers made it to the Soviet Union national team that reached the Olympics title game against the United States in Rome 1960.

VEF Rīga confirmed its status as a Soviet Union League regular, keeping its name in the first division and becoming a hard-to-beat team at any level. However, the lack of a second continental club competition prevented VEF from proving its value against European teams. VEF had its first golden age throughout the 1960s, with Merksons, Kalnins, Jurgensons Ozers, Eglitis and Drake as its core players. A major addition had taken place, too, as Krumins, the most dominant player in Europe for many years, decided to finish his legendary career at VEF, joining the club in 1964. Olgerts Altbergs replaced Krauklis as head coach and had a sudden impact, helping VEF to finish fourth in 1965. Kalnins won a silver Olympic medal with the Soviet Union in 1964, becoming the second VEF player to do so. The team did even better in 1966, finishing third in its domestic competition for the second time in club history. In 1969 team went down to the second division of Soviet league and it took some time to rebuild as the team got back into the Soviet Union elite in 1977 led by legendary player Valdis Valters.

Valters was a true superstar, the starting point guard in the Soviet Union national team that won the 1982 World Championships and lifted the EuroBasket trophy in 1981 (Valters was named tournament MVP) as well as in 1985. Valters was also part of a team that reached Eurobasket title games in 1983 and 1987. Valters left the national team when Sarunas Marciulionis took over, but still played for the VEF until 1990.

In later years, Valters got some help as VEF added young talents like Igors Miglinieks, Gundars Vētra, Raimonds Miglinieks, Kārlis Muižnieks and Ainars Bagatskis. With arguably its best roster ever VEF was fifth in the Soviet Union League in 1985 and ranked sixth in 1987 and 1988. Vētra and Miglinieks led VEF to finish third in the 1991 Soviet Union League, a historical season in which the club made its debut in European club competitions. VEF downed ICED Bucuresti but fell against Iraklis in the 1991 Korac Cup second preliminary round. VEF went one step higher in 1992, playing in the Saporta Cup. The club knocked off Braunschweig but VEF registered two narrow losses against Union Olimpija in the next round to step down before the group stage. Despite its good season, VEF stopped to exist in 1992.


The club was re-founded in 2007 with Valdis Valters as the head coach. VEF Riga started by competing in the Latvian League and the Baltic League second division. VEF Riga was made up of young and talented players, so the team improved gradually. It all paid off right away, as VEF Riga made it to the Baltic League second division title game in 2008 and 2009, earning the right to join the first division in 2009-10.

In the same season, VEF returned to European competitions as it played in FIBA Euro Challenge. Also, VEF Rīga took part in VTB United League's inaugural regular season. In 2010, led by Alex Renfroe and Sandis Valters, VEF Riga reached the Latvian League finals for the first time, losing 3-4 to Barons Riga. In the 2010 off-season, VEF Riga made another step forward as they got a chance to play in Eurocup. VEF Riga named Rimas Kurtinaitis as the head coach and made some key roster moves like re-signing Sandis Valters along with acquisitions of other top Latvian players such as Kristaps Janičenoks, Kaspars Bērziņš and Dairis Bertāns.

During the season, Kurtinaitis left Riga for Russian powerhouse BC Khimki and he was replaced by another Lithuanian Ramūnas Butautas, who already had experience in Latvia, having won the 2007 Latvian league championship with ASK Rīga. VEF Riga finished the season as the winners of BBL regular season. Later in BBL play-off stage VEF Riga caused a surprise by eliminating the Lithuanian club Lietuvos Rytas at the BBL semi-finals, beating them 79:68. It was the first time that one of the BBL finalists wasn't Lietuvos Rytas. However, VEF Rīga lost in the final to Lithuanian basketball club Žalgiris, with a final score of 69:75. In the Latvian League, VEF Rīga returned to the finals, where they faced BK Ventspils. During the intense series, VEF Rīga managed to beat Ventspils, 4-3, winning first Latvian championship.

Rise under Butautas

Before the 2011-2012 season, VEF Rīga participated in the Euroleague qualification round round for the first time, where they lost to ALBA Berlin. It meant VEF Rīga had to play in Eurocup, where they reached the Last 16 round for the first time. In Baltic League, they finished in third place, while in the Latvian league VEF Rīga repeated as champions defeating Ventspils, in the finals, 4-1.

During the following off-season, VEF Rīga got lucky by getting E.J. Rowland, who was loaned from Unicaja Málaga with favorable conditions. Rowland turned out to be a massive part of upcoming success. Rowland, surrounded by a strong core consisting of Latvian players, helped VEF Rīga get wins over well-established teams. The culmination of the season was on 15 January 2013 when VEF Rīga trashed Bilbao Basket at Arēna Rīga, 99-76. In the VTB United League, VEF Rīga stopped after Quarterfinals, but in Latvian League, they won the third consecutive title against Ventspils (4-1).

After a very good season, VEF Rīga lost its top players as Bilbao bought out Dairis Bertāns, and E.J. Rowland signed a lucrative contract in Turkey, followed by other departures. The season wasn't as good as the previous one. One of the reasons was the inconsistent lineup. One of the biggest signings of the summer, Gani Lawal, left the team in the preseason. VEF Rīga had a first-round exit in the Euroleague qualification round which was followed by not making the second round in the Eurocup. In the end, affected by injuries and some unexpected events like Derrick Nix leaving the team on the eve of the Latvian League finals, after three years of dominance VEF Rīga lost the domestic championship, losing to Ventspils, 1-4.

In the 2014 off-season, VEF Riga went through rebuilding as several new faces (Jānis Timma, Mareks Mejeris) joined the team. VEF struggled in international tournaments and failed to make the playoffs, but finished the season by the winning Latvian championship. After the departure of Nikolajs Mazurs, VEF hired Carlos Frade as the next head coach. The Spanish coach tried to change the philosophy of the basketball VEF played under previous coaches, but it didn't turn out well, and on 12 December 2015, VEF fired Frade. Long-time assistant Jānis Gailītis was promoted as a head coach and took the team to the Latvian League finals, but lost to Valmiera/Ordo.

Gailītis continued as head coach. The following season VEF signed Latvian National Team captain Jānis Blūms and another veteran Armands Šķēle. They helped to regain the Latvian championship, and VEF returned to the VTB League quarterfinals for the first time in four years.

Following the 2016-17 season, Blums and Skele veterans left the team, but VEF signed another two experienced players: Kristaps Janičenoks and Kaspars Bērziņš. Alex Pérez was also signed, giving him his first experience in European basketball. The team again qualified for the VTB League quarterfinals but failed to win the Latvian championship.

Leaving VTB League and joining Champions League

In 2018-19 season VEF joined newly created Latvian-Estonian Basketball League. They lost in the final to biggest rivals Ventspils, but revenged in Latvian League finals, winning Latvian championship for the 6th time. It was Janičenoks' last season in his professional career. Mareks Mejeris had become a star player of the team, and VEF wasn't able to keep him in the 2019 off-season. Mejeris signed with Parma Basket. Team's budget became smaller and the management decided to leave VTB United League. Instead, VEF returned to international competition stage, joining Basketball Champions League, organized by FIBA.

In 2019 off-season VEF signed back veteran Jānis Blūms and promising Latvian talent Artūrs Kurucs, loaned by Spanish Euroleague team Saski Baskonia. Kurucs used the opportunity, becoming one of the best young players in Basketball Champions League. Debut in Champions League was rough, VEF won only one of 14 games in regular season and was dead last in the standings. End of the season was interrupted by COVID-19 pandemic. VEF was awarded Latvian championship, so they could get back to Champions League the following season.

Second participation in the Basketball Champions League was way better, as VEF qualified for the playoffs round, and also won the Latvian championship. However, team again failed to win the 2020–21 Latvian–Estonian Basketball League, losing to Estonian Kalev/Cramo in the final. Many players used the platform to rise their name and got better contracts for the next season: Kyle Allman signed with Paris Basketball, Michale Kyser signed with Hapoel Holon, Isaiah Piñeiro signed with Darüşşafaka. Kristers Zoriks became a Latvian NT starter.

On 7 March 2022 VEF won the Latvian Cup for the first time ever. It was first Latvian Cup organized since 1994. Alexander Madsen was named the Latvian Cup MVP.

VEF Riga is a professional basketball team based in Riga, Latvia. The team was founded in 1958 and has a rich history of success in Latvian and European basketball. VEF Riga has won 14 Latvian championships and 3 Baltic League titles. The team has also competed in various European competitions, including the EuroLeague and the EuroCup.

VEF Riga is known for its strong defense and disciplined play. The team's style of play emphasizes teamwork and ball movement, with an emphasis on finding the open man and making the extra pass. VEF Riga's roster is made up of talented players from Latvia and other European countries, as well as a few international players.

The team plays its home games at the Arena Riga, a modern arena with a seating capacity of over 11,000. VEF Riga has a passionate fan base that supports the team through thick and thin. The team's colors are blue and white, and its logo features a stylized eagle with the team's name in bold letters.

Overall, VEF Riga is a respected and successful basketball team with a long history of excellence. The team's commitment to hard work, discipline, and teamwork has made it a force to be reckoned with in Latvian and European basketball.