ISTANBUL, TURKEY – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Basketbol için Destek ve Eğitim Vakfı (BIDEV – Basketball Solidarity and Education Foundation), a non-profit organization with the aim of contributing to the development of Turkish basketball, today announced a multiyear collaboration to launch the Jr. NBA Turkey League, a youth basketball league for boys and girls ages 11-14 from 30 participating primary schools in Istanbul.
The Jr. NBA Turkey League will tip off in October with a draft event where each school will be assigned an NBA team and receive corresponding NBA team-branded jerseys for games, and will culminate in December with the Jr. NBA Turkey League Finals.
“BIDEV is not only a foundation, but a family bound by a passion for basketball,” said BIDEV Chairman Hasan Arat. “Part of our mission is to spread love for basketball in Turkey and to facilitate the next generation’s access to this beautiful game. We are thrilled to take the first step in this collaboration between BIDEV and NBA, which will build a fantastic legacy with the Jr. NBA Turkey League programme in the coming years.”
“Basketball and NBA’s popularity in Turkey are growing every year,” said BIDEV Board of Directors member Eyal Tarablus. “Any kid who plays basketball looks up to the NBA and dreams of wearing the jersey of an NBA team one day. At BIDEV, we are honored to work with the NBA in the coming years to make these dreams come true. The Jr. NBA League is a competition format we know every school team, child and coach will embrace to create an amazing season.”
“We are excited to launch a Jr. NBA League in Turkey with BIDEV, who share our commitment to teaching the game and its values to young boys and girls,” said NBA Director of Basketball Operations, Europe and the Middle East, Henry Utku. “Turkey has a rich basketball tradition, and this program will allow us to continue to develop basketball in the country by introducing more children to the game in a fun and interactive environment.”
The Jr. NBA is the league’s global youth basketball programme for boys and girls that teaches the fundamental skills and core values of the game – teamwork, respect, determination and community – at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents. During the 2021-22 season, the Jr. NBA reached nearly 42,000 youth across 93 leagues throughout Europe and the Middle East. The NBA has previously hosted preseason games, a Jr. NBA League, and other youth development programmes and fan events in Turkey.
Basketbol için Destek ve Eğitim Vakfı (BIDEV – Basketball Solidarity and Education Foundation) was established as a non-profit organization in 2020 with the aim of contributing to the development of Turkish basketball players through education and by supporting those who have contributed to basketball in Turkey through social solidarity. Businesspersons, current and former basketball players, trainers, referees, sport administrators and press members are all gathered to achieve this goal. Transparency and sustainability will be the basic principles of our foundation on this path. Our goal is to move forward the valuable works done in Turkish basketball up to now, to an exemplary and sustainable position through support and education.
About the NBA
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a global sports and media organization with the mission to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball. Built around five professional sports leagues: the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League, the NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming available in 215 countries and territories in more than 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 200 countries and territories on all seven continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2021-22 season featured a record 121 international players from 40 countries. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass. The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 2.1 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.