The 2006 Friendship Games
The inaugural Games in 2006, saw 7 teams (all men…) participating in the tournament that took place at the Tel Aviv University Sports Center.
The program was conceived that year by Atlanta Hawks co-owner Ed Peskowitz after meeting with Arie Rosenzweig, athletic director of Tel-Aviv University and Kowalsky Ilan, athletic director at the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya. They all felt the game of basketball could begin to unify countries on a grassroots level.
The teams that came to Israel for the first games were:
Ireland , Angola, Jordan, Serbia-Montenegro, Cyprus, Turkey and Israel.
Serbia- Montenegro won the trophy that year and everyone made a wish that the games will become a tradition and grow to host many more teams and of course not only men's teams but also a tournament for ladies.
Teams that year were taken to trips around Israel (To Jerusalem, Nazareth, The Galilee and more) and all of them were excited to travel trough the "Holy Land" – most of them if not all of them - for the first time.