LONDON and BOLOGNA – The National Basketball Association (NBA), Bologna Municipality and Bologna Welcome, the city’s convention & visitors bureau, today announced the Jr. NBA Global Championship Europe and Middle East Selection Camp, a week-long camp to determine the 10 boys and 10 girls who will represent the region in the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship Aug. 6-11 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla.
The Jr. NBA Global Championship Europe and Middle East Selection Camp, to be held at the CUSB (Centro Universitario Sportivo Bologna) in Bologna, Italy from April 30 – May 4, will be conducted by NBA Basketball Operations staff and Jr. NBA League coaches, and attended by former NBA player Boris Diaw (France) and USA Basketball Head Coach/Coach Director, Youth & Sport Development, Don Showalter. Former NBA players and NBA Europe Ambassadors Vladimir Radmanovic and Marko Milic will also attend the camp.
The camp will feature 60 participants ages 13 and 14 years old from 24 of the European and Middle Eastern countries where Jr. NBA programs currently operate, and will focus on positional skill development, culminating with three-on-three and five-on-five competition. The top 10 boys and top 10 girls will be selected will by a committee of coaches and NBA staff to participate.
Over 20 coaches will also be present and will take part in coaching seminars throughout the duration of the camp led by Don Showalter. Four coaches will be selected to lead the respective boy and girls Europe/Middle East teams in the in Jr. NBA Global Championship in Orlando.
Gatorade joins as an associate partner and will give hydration seminars and provide product to the participants.
In the inaugural event last year, the Europe girls team won the international division to advance to the global championship game where they lost to the U.S. Central girls team. The Europe boys reached the international semifinals where they were defeated by the tournament runner-up, Africa & Middle East.
The winning boys and girl’s teams from each of the eight U.S. regional tournaments and the boys and girls teams representing the eight international regions (Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe & Middle East, India, Latin America and Mexico) will receive all-expenses-paid trips to compete in the culminating event in Orlando.
The Jr. NBA Global Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-elimination competition. The winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the global championship games on Aug. 11.
More than 300 boys and girls from 35 countries participated in the inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship in August 2018. During the weeklong event, all 32 teams participated in off-court activities including life skills sessions, Disney park visits, a community service project, and educational meetings with current and former NBA and WNBA players and coaches. The Central girls (Kansas City, Mo.) defeated the Europe girls team 68-38, while the Central boys (Overland Park, Kan.) defeated the Africa & Middle East boys team 60-50 in the global championship games. More information about the Jr. NBA Global Championship can be found at https://jrnbagc.nba.com/
The Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the 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 2018-19 season, the NBA and its teams plan to reach more than 51M youth in 75 countries through league play, in-school programming, clinics, skills challenges, and other outreach events.
Neal Meyer, NBA Associate Vice President of Basketball Operations, Europe and Middle East
“We look forward to hosting our Jr. NBA Selection Camp in partnership with Bologna Welcome. The camp provides a unique and exciting opportunity for 60 of the top young boys and girls from across Europe and the Middle East to work with NBA staff and Jr. NBA League coaches to hone their individual skills and deepen their understanding of Jr. NBA values. With the opportunity to represent Europe & Middle East in Orlando at stake, we can expect a great week of basketball.”
Boris Diaw, NBA Champion
“I look forward to putting the best young players from the region through their paces. Bologna has a great tradition in basketball and I remember playing here with fondness. It provides the perfect backdrop for the next generation of young players to hone their skills and compete against one another.”
Don Showalter, USA Basketball Head Coach/Coach Director, Youth & Sport Development
“I look forward to helping evaluate these young players and working with the next generation of coaches as they work towards the goal of representing the Europe/Middle East region at the Jr. NBA Global Championship in Orlando. This is an exciting step for the development of skills for these players.”
Matteo Lepore, Deputy Mayor Culture, Sport, Tourism
“The NBA dream comes to Bologna: Hosting the Jr. NBA Global Championship Europe and Middle East Selection Camp is an honor for our city, and we’re really pleased to have in town girls and boys from all over Europe and the Middle East, competing to reach the final stage of the Jr. NBA Youth competition. Bologna has been chosen for its record, for being the Italian ‘Basket City’. We hope that all girls and boys involved in the Championship will one day be able to play on the best parquet floors in the world: In the meantime, both PalaCUSB and PalaDozza are ready to host them. And we are working hard to improve our collaboration with Jr. NBA and NBA.”
Valerio Veronesi, President of the Bologna Chamber of Commerce and Majority Shareholder in Bologna Welcome
“The Bologna Chamber of Commerce believes and invests in the youth’s talents and dreams. We do it through the provision of high quality opportunities for all girls and boys who are committed to their passions. This is what we mean by ‘Basket City’: attracting talents and talent scouts. And we’re so glad to have this project in place for the first time, thanks to Bologna Welcome.”