INAUGURAL JR. NBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TO FEATURE MORE THAN 300 YOUTH PLAYERS FROM 35 COUNTRIES AUG. 7-12 AT ESPN WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS COMPLEX AT DISNEY
– Dwyane Wade, Andre Drummond, Vince Carter, Brook Lopez, Grant Hill, Skylar Diggins-Smith Tamika Catchings Among NBA and WNBA Stars to Participate in Weeklong Schedule of
On- and Off-Court Activities –
NEW YORK, July 26, 2018 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced the rosters of the 32 teams that will compete at the Jr. NBA World Championship, a first-of-its kind global youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world. The competition will take place Aug. 7-12 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.
Three-time NBA Champion and Jr. NBA World Championship Global Ambassador Dwyane Wade, 2018 NBA All-Star Andre Drummond, eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Grant Hill and WNBA Legends Tamika Catchings, Swin Cash and Jennifer Azzi will join the 317 boys and girls from 35 countries at the first Jr. NBA World Championship.
FOX Sports will air 16 games throughout the week, totaling 20 hours of programming across FS1 and FOX.
The inaugural event will bring together the top 32 boys and girls teams (16 U.S. and 16 international) that advanced from regional competitions earlier this year. The 16 international teams (eight boys and eight girls teams) represent Africa & Middle East, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe, India, Mexico and South America. The following 16 U.S. teams won newly created regional tournaments to advance to Orlando:
U.S. Boys Division
Central – Lenexa, Kan.
Mid-Atlantic – Upper Marlboro, Md.
Midwest – Detroit, Mich.
Northeast – Westchester, N.Y.
Northwest – Seattle, Wash.
South – Dallas, Texas
Southeast – Atlanta, Ga.
West – Los Angeles, Calif. U.S. Girls Division
Central – Kansas City, Mo.
Mid-Atlantic – Germantown, Md.
Midwest – South Bend, Ind.
Northeast – Westchester, N.Y.
Northwest – New Castle, Wash.
South – Dallas, Texas
Southeast – Columbia, S.C.
West – Los Angeles, Calif.
*Teams are based in the cities listed, but comprised of youth from throughout the respective regions
“After several months of highly competitive regional competitions around the world, we are excited to bring together a field of 32 teams that not only excel on the court, but also represent the Jr. NBA’s core values of teamwork, respect, determination and community,” said Kathy Behrens, NBA President, Social Responsibility and Player Programs. “We are looking forward to an exciting week of on- and off-court activities that will provide these young players with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“The Jr. NBA World Championship is more than a basketball competition; it’s a global stage for some of the top youth players from around the world to showcase their talent, have fun and learn from one another,” said Wade. “I am excited to watch these young stars leave it all on the court and compete for the first Jr. NBA World Championship title.”
Five of the teams have ties to NBA and WNBA players: three-time WNBA Champion and WNBA all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi (West; Girls), four-time WNBA All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith (Midwest; Girls), three-time NBA Champion Draymond Green (Midwest; Boys), 2017-18 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons (Asia Pacific; Girls) and NBA guard Shelvin Mack (Southeast; Boys).
The Jr. NBA World Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-eliminations competition. The winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the World Championship games on Aug. 12.
All games will be officiated by representatives from the NBA’s Referee Development Program, which provides rising professionals and former players with the skills necessary to pursue a career as a referee in the NBA, WNBA or NBA G League.
During the weeklong event, all 32 teams will participate in activities designed to reinforce the Jr. NBA’s core values and provide the players with development opportunities and memorable experiences off the court. Drummond and Azzi will welcome the teams in an opening ceremony on Aug. 5, followed by a celebratory parade at Magic Kingdom Park.
From Aug. 6-8, each player will participate in three life skills sessions as part of the event’s Developing the Total Athlete Series led by NBA and Kaiser Permanente health experts and supported by NBA and WNBA talent, covering the total health spectrum of mind, body and spirit in a culturally inclusive environment. In partnership with KaBOOM!, the Jr. NBA World Championship Day of Service on Aug. 9 will feature all 32 teams giving back to the local community by collectively building a new playground for community youth at the nearby Oak Street Park. Additionally, Gatorade will host a health and wellness session through the Gatorade Sports Science Institute which will educate participants on hydration measures and provide custom fueling recommendations for each athlete.
Click here for full rosters of all 32 teams. More information about the Jr. NBA World Championship can be found at jrnba.com/worldchampionship.
About the Jr. NBA
The Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour is the league’s youth basketball participation program that provides a fun environment for kids to learn the fundamentals and values of the game. The Jr. NBA is focused on helping grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents, and offers a free curriculum covering all levels of the game that includes 48 practice plans and more than 250 instructional videos featuring NBA and WNBA players. The Jr. NBA World Championship, a first-of-its kind global youth basketball tournament for the top 13- to 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world, will take place in August 2018.
In partnership with USA Basketball, the NBA developed two sets of youth basketball guidelines which promote player health and wellness and age-appropriate rules and standards. Through a network of affiliated youth basketball organizations and programs such as the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge presented by Verizon and 3v3 Leagues presented by Shock Doctor, the Jr. NBA program has reached more than five million youth ages 6-14 in the U.S. and Canada since launching its expanded efforts in October 2015. The Jr. NBA partnership network is comprised of youth basketball programs of all NBA, WNBA and NBA G League teams as well as elementary and middle schools, military bases and longstanding community partners. For more information and to register for the Jr. NBA, visit www.JrNBA.com or download the Jr. NBA app.
Mark Pozin, NBA Communications, (212) 407-8828, firstname.lastname@example.org