The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced the Jr. NBA World Championship, a first-of-its kind global youth basketball tournament for the top boys and girls teams ages 14 and under from around the world.
The Jr. NBA World Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, each comprised of 16 regional champions that will receive all-expenses-paid trips to compete in the inaugural event 7-12 Aug 2018 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Located at Walt Disney World Resort, the world-class venue regularly hosts elite and recreational youth sports competitions.
Youth at the Jr. NBA World Championship will not only compete on the court but will also receive off-court life skills education and participate in NBA Cares community service projects.
“The Jr. NBA World Championship represents another significant step in our effort to promote youth basketball globally,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “And in addition to high-level competition on the court, participants will learn from NBA and WNBA veterans and coaches the values of the game and the most appropriate training techniques.”
Cleveland Cavaliers guard and three-time NBA Champion Dwyane Wade and Los Angeles Sparks forward and WNBA Champion Candace Parker will serve as lead global ambassadors for the Jr. NBA World Championship.
The Africa & Middle East regional champion will consist of the top players from various Jr. NBA competitions and clinics across both regions, taking place between Jan. 15 - May 1, 2018. The 10 selected players will represent Africa & Middle East at the Jr. NBA World Championship in August.
Europe, India, Mexico and South America), will compete in the culminating event at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
“I am excited to serve as a global ambassador for the Jr. NBA World Championship,” said Wade. “Basketball means so much to me and my family, and I look forward to helping the NBA improve the game at the youth level for the next generation of players from around the world.”
“The Jr. NBA World Championship is a great initiative that will connect U.S. and international youth in a meaningful way,” said Parker. “As a global ambassador, I’m looking forward to making a positive impact on the participants, both on and off the court.”
This announcement comes shortly after The NBA Africa announced a multi-year partnership with energy solutions company Solektra International to develop youth basketball in Senegal.
Under the terms of this deal, Solektra will install solar-powered lighting systems at outdoor basketball courts in the country.
The league will feature 30 boys’ school teams from Dakar and Thies in Senegal competing for the championship. Each school team will be linked with an NBA franchise and wear corresponding NBA team-branded kit.
“In order to fast track the development of Africa, inspire the youth and provide sustainable jobs across the continent, solar energy and innovation are critical,” said Samba Bathily, chief executive of Solektra.
The African company will also become an official partner the new the Junior NBA Senegal League.
“We are looking forward to working with the NBA to empower our youth by providing access to renewable energy in communities.”
“Solektra International shares our belief in the power of sport, and basketball in particular, as a conduit to positive social change,” added Amadou Gallo Fall, vice president and managing director of the NBA Africa.
“By installing state of the art, eco-friendly lighting systems and launching a new junior NBA league in Senegal, we hope to provide more children with the opportunity to learn the game of basketball and its values, including teamwork, integrity, respect and leadership.”