The passion for basketball in Cologne, Germany promises to grow even more intense following 2006-07, the first Euroleague season for RheinEnergie. Founded in 1999, the club joined Germany’s first division by 2001, when it also took on the name of RheinEnergie, its current sponsor. RheinEnergie then hired one of the most-celebrated coaches in Europe, Svetislav Pesic, finishing third in the regular season and making the playoff finals in its first season, 2001-02. Also that year, RheinEnergie played in the NEBL, its first experience outside Germany. The following season, with Pesic gone to pursue a Euroleague title with Barcelona, RheinEnergie took a big step into the ULEB Cup, making the elimination rounds before running into eventual champion Pamesa Valencia in the eighthfinals. The 2003-04 season brought a new effort that was rewarded when RheinEnergie downed the Skyliners to lift its first trophy, the German Cup. In the ULEB Cup, RheinEnergie returned to the elimination rounds, losing on points against Metis Varese in the eighthfinals. The Skyliners took revenge in the German League quarterfinals. In 2004-05, RheinEnergie returned to the ULEB Cup eighthfinals but lost against Ventspils despite a 16-point win in the 1st leg in Cologne. Back in Germany, RheinEnergie won a second German Cup title by beating Telekom Bonn 85-75 in the final and made it once again to the German League playoffs. RheinEnergie needed a step forwards and it gave it in the 2005-06 season, as it won its first German League title. Aleksandar Nadjfeji hit a buzzer-beating triple in Game 5 that made RheinEnergie knock off Bamberg 2-3 in the semifinals, while Immanuel McElroy led the team to down Alba 1-3 in the finals. Last season, RheinEnergie made its Euroleague debut and won its third German Cup title in three years, this time beating the Artland Dragons 60-58 in final. With a year of Euroleague experience, RheinEnergie now returns to the ULEB Cup ready to do better than ever.