NEW YORK – The Jr. NBA – the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls – will launch its expanded efforts in the U.S. and Canada this October, the NBA announced today. The program aims to engage five million youth over the next two years through a series of basketball clinics, skills challenges, and regional tournaments.
To reach its goal, the league will develop a network that will include many of its longstanding community partners, such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jewish Community Centers of North America, the National Association of Police Athletic Leagues, the National Recreation and Park Association, the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, Special Olympics, the YMCA, and elementary and middle schools throughout North America. Additionally, the Jr. NBA partnership network will include NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League teams’ local youth basketball programs.
“Our expanded commitment to the Jr. NBA will go far beyond participation,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We will focus on sharing the values of our game and providing an infrastructure to ensure that basketball is played and taught properly at the grassroots level.”
The Jr. NBA program intends to develop a lifelong passion for basketball in boys and girls ages 6 -14 by teaching them the fundamentals while emphasizing sportsmanship, respect, teamwork, and healthy living.
To lead the expanded efforts, the league announced today the hiring of David Krichavsky to serve as NBA Vice President, Youth Basketball. Krichavsky will join the NBA from the National Football League, where he implemented Heads Up Football, NFL FLAG, and other youth instruction and participation initiatives as NFL Director, Player Health and Safety.
In the coming months, the NBA will announce a youth basketball leadership council that will provide direction to the program and work to create a fun, rewarding experience for participating kids, coaches, officials, and parents. The Jr. NBA will also partner with USA Basketball to support its Coach Licensing Program and Curriculum which focuses on educating coaches.