NBA announces inaugural Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award

NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced today the creation of the Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award, which will be given annually to a youth basketball coach that is making a positive impact on children by demonstrating outstanding integrity, character and leadership.

NBA teams will select a local winner in their market to become eligible for the national Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award.  The NBA and Positive Coaching Alliance, a partner of the Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour, will narrow down the local winners to eight semi-finalists.  A panel of judges, including former NBA player Dell Curry, former WNBA player Jennifer Azzi and Turner Sports broadcaster Ernie Johnson, along with fan voting via social media will determine the top three finalists.  Finalists will receive funding as well as equipment and apparel to support their local youth basketball organizations; free Positive Coaching Alliance training; and all-expense-paid trips to New York to attend the inaugural NBA Awards Show on June 26.

“Coaches play a critically important role in creating a positive youth basketball experience,” said NBA Vice President, Youth Basketball Development David Krichavsky.  “We are excited to establish the Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award to recognize basketball coaches across the country who are having an extraordinary impact on youth – both on and off the court.”

Fan voting for the Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award will begin April 25 and run through May 9.  The national Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award winner will be announced in June.  More information about the award is available at

Tipping off today, the Jr. NBA and Positive Coaching Alliance are celebrating Coach Appreciation Week (March 27-31) via social media to recognize the local winners who are eligible for the national Jr. NBA Coach of the Year award.  Follow the Jr. NBA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as Positive Coaching Alliance on Twitter and Instagram for a weeklong celebration of youth basketball coaches.

About the Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour
The Jr. NBA is the league’s youth basketball participation program that teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.  Through a network of affiliated youth basketball organizations, live events and interactive experiences, the Jr. NBA will reach five million youth ages 6-14 in the U.S. and Canada over a two-year period as part of its expanded efforts launched in October 2015.  The Jr. NBA partnership network is comprised of youth basketball programs of all NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League teams as well as elementary and middle schools, military installations and longstanding community partners, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jewish Community Centers of North America, National Association of Police Athletic Leagues, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wheelchair Basketball Association, Special Olympics, and YMCA of the USA.

About Positive Coaching Alliance
Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes. In addition to nearly 1,500 free multimedia tips and tools at, PCA has partnered with roughly 3,500 schools and youth sports organizations nationwide to deliver more than 20,000 live group workshops, along with online courses and books by PCA Founder Jim Thompson that help those involved in youth and high school sports create a positive, character-building youth sports culture.

PCA resources, which have reached more than 8.6 million youth, strive to transform high school and youth sports into a Development ZoneTM culture, where the goal is to develop Better Athletes, Better People and the following become the prevailing models in youth and high school sports: The Double-Goal Coach®, who strives to win while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports, The Second-Goal Parent®, who concentrates on life lessons, while letting coaches and athletes focus on competing, The Triple-Impact Competitor®, who strives to impact sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.

PCA gains support from a National Advisory Board, including National Spokesperson and 11-time NBA Champion Coach Phil Jackson, and many other top coaches, athletes, organization leaders and academics who share PCA’s mission.