NEW YORK – The Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour, the NBA’s youth basketball participation program for boys and girls ages 6-14, tipped off its expanded efforts with the inaugural Jr. NBA Week (Oct. 19-26). The Jr. NBA teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.
All 30 NBA teams will participate in Jr. NBA Week by hosting youth basketball events in their communities and during their open practices. The NBA and Under Armour will host five national launch events in Baltimore, Lexington, Ky., New York, Phoenix and San Antonio, featuring current and former NBA and WNBA players. In total, more than 100 events will be held during Jr. NBA Week.
“This weeklong celebration of our game’s youngest participants is the perfect way to tip off our expanded Jr. NBA efforts,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “And I look forward to working with the Jr. NBA Leadership Council to support these programs together with our teams, our partners and the youth basketball community.”
“The life skills and lessons learned through sport are fundamental in developing young athletes to value teamwork, passion, accountability and responsibility,” said Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO, Under Armour. “We are so proud to work with our great partners at the NBA to bring the Jr. NBA experience to life and grow the game of basketball for the athletes of the next generation and beyond.”
The Jr. NBA app developed by Yinzcam and JrNBA.com will serve as the premier resources for youth basketball players, parents, coaches and officials. Beginning today, organizations can register for the Jr. NBA network at JrNBA.com and receive valuable benefits, including access to Jr. NBA events and a free starter kit with a Jr. NBA banner, nets, whistles, clipboards, cones and other items to help support a successful youth basketball program. The website will also feature league management software and instructional videos for basketball skills and drills.
The Jr. NBA will reach five million youth in the U.S. and Canada over the next two years through a series of basketball clinics, skills challenges and tournaments. As part of this effort, the NBA has developed a Jr. NBA partnership network that includes youth basketball programs of all NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League teams, elementary and middle schools, military bases 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.
USA Basketball will also serve as a key Jr. NBA partner, with the NBA and USA Basketball working to significantly advance coaching education through USA Basketball’s coach licensing and league accreditation programs. Coaches who are part of organizations that register for the Jr. NBA will have the opportunity to complete USA Basketball’s Coach License course – the standard for coaching education and safety in youth basketball – at a discounted cost.
Additionally, as part of these expanded youth basketball efforts, the league has established the Jr. NBA Leadership Council to help provide direction on the program’s development and evolution. The council consists of prominent basketball influencers and stakeholders, including 2014-15 NBA MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, Duke University and USA Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, actress and recording artist Zendaya, 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky, Indiana Fever All-Star Tamika Catchings and others. General Martin E. Dempsey, the newly appointed special adviser to Commissioner Silver, will serve as the chairman of the Jr. NBA Leadership Council. Below is the full list of council members:
Jr. NBA Leadership Council
|Jennifer Azzi, WNBA legend and University of San Francisco women’s basketball head coach||Teresa Edwards, WNBA legend|
|Jenny Boucek, Seattle Storm head coach||Ernie Johnson, Turner Sports broadcaster|
|Bruce Bowen, NBA legend and ESPN analyst||Kevin Johnson, Philadelphia 76ers head athletic trainer|
|Bill Burgos, Orlando Magic head strength & conditioning coach||Michael B. Jordan, Actor|
|Doris Burke, ESPN analyst||Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University & USA Basketball head coach|
|James Capers, NBA referee||Zach LaVine, Minnesota Timberwolves guard|
|Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks head coach||Spike Lee, Academy Award-nominated director|
|Michael Carter-Williams, Milwaukee Bucks guard||Rebecca Lobo, WNBA legend and ESPN analyst|
|Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever forward||Ryan McDonough, Phoenix Suns general manager|
|Pokey Chatman, Chicago Sky head coach||Steve Nash, NBA legend|
|Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball Board of Directors Chairman||Chiney Ogwumike, Connecticut Sun forward|
|Jason Collins, NBA legend||Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks forward|
|Dell Curry, NBA legend||Steve Smith, NBA legend and Turner Sports analyst|
|Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors guard||Dawn Staley, WNBA legend|
|Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans forward||Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics head coach|
|Elena Delle Donne, Chicago Sky forward||Masai Ujiri, Toronto Raptors general manager|
|General Martin E. Dempsey*, U.S. Army, Retired||Kiki VanDeWeghe, NBA Executive VP, Basketball Operations|
|Dr. John DiFiori, NBA Director of Sports Medicine||Zendaya, Actress and recording artist|
|Skylar Diggins, Tulsa Shock guard||*Denotes Jr. NBA Leadership Council Chairman|
About the Jr. NBA
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 in an effort 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 bases 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 Under Armour, Inc.
Under Armour (NYSE: UA), the originator of performance footwear, apparel and equipment, revolutionized how athletes across the world dress. Designed to make all athletes better, the brand’s innovative products are sold worldwide to athletes at all levels. The Under Armour Connected Fitness™ platform powers the world’s largest digital health and fitness community through a suite of applications: UA Record, MapMyFitness, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland. For further information, please visit the Company’s website at www.uabiz.com.