PARIS – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the French Basketball Federation (FFBB) today announced a multiyear partnership renewal that will expand the FFBB Jr. NBA Challenge Benjamin(e)s program to more youth across France through 2025. Over the past decade, the program has provided basketball development to more than 220,000 boys and girls ages 11-12 in France.
The announcement was made today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and FFBB President Jean-Pierre Siutat at The FFBB Jr. NBA Challenge Benjamin(e)s Paris Skills Challenge Finals at Gymnase Didot, in the presence of the Sports Deputy Mayor of the City of Paris Jean-Francois Martins, four-time NBA Champion Tony Parker and former Challenge Benjamin(e)s winner and current professional player for ESB Villeneuve-d’Ascq Zoé Wadoux. The event, which highlights a week of basketball development activities and clinics for coaches, referees and youth players, is a part of Jr. NBA week and The NBA Paris Game 2020 Presented by beIN SPORTS.
The FFBB Jr. NBA Challenge Benjamin(e)s is a series of youth competitions designed to test participants’ shooting, ball handling and passing ability, all while maintaining composure under pressure. The program will include 130 competitions across France in 2020, culminating with the national finals at the AccorHotels Arena on Saturday, April 25, where the boys and girls finalists will compete for an all-expenses-paid trip to the United States to see an NBA game.
“I am delighted with this collaboration to make this NBA game in Paris a great basketball party in the capital and to share our sport with as many people as possible,” said Siutat. “This is an extension of our partnership with the NBA, which began in 2010 around our Challenge Benjamin(e)s program and was bolstered even more two years ago with the creation of the Jr. NBA FFBB French National School Sports Union (UNSS) League with schools in Paris. The best French players all began playing basketball in a club with the federation and today are playing all over the world.”
“We look forward to building on our 10-year partnership with the French Basketball Federation and continuing to teach the fundamentals and values of the game to young boys and girls in France,” said Silver. “Together we are providing a platform for aspiring young basketball players across the country to develop their skills.”
“There is nothing better for the NBA than Paris. There is nothing better for Paris than the NBA,” said Martins. “We are thrilled to welcome this tremendous event and as we have witnessed today, this is only the start of a new chapter that will continue for many years between the City of Paris and the NBA.”
Jr. NBA Week will run from Jan. 19-25 in Paris and includes multiple clinics for coaches, referees and young players. With the support of the City of Paris and UNSS, key events include Jr. NBA Girls Day on Jan. 22, featuring a clinic for girls from the Jr. NBA FFBB UNSS Leagues as part of “Her Time to Play,” the Jr. NBA Cares Special Olympics Clinic on Jan. 23, which will include clinics for Special Olympics athletes and partners, and the fourth annual Jr. NBA League Day on Jan. 24, which will host 50 children from the Jr. NBA FFBB UNSS League for skills development clinics.
The Jr. NBA FFBB UNSS League is comprised of 30 school-based teams in Paris featuring 450 participants. Each participating school is associated with an FFBB club. The NBA currently has 83 Jr. NBA leagues in 31 countries in Europe and the Middle East for nearly 40,000 boys and girls ages 10-14. During the 2019-20 season, the NBA and its teams will reach more than 60 million youth in 72 countries through league play, in-school programming, clinics, skills challenges, and other outreach events.
Fans in France can find more NBA information at NBA.com/France, the NBA’s official website hosted on beinsports.com, from the NBA App (App Store Google Play), and on Facebook (NBA France) and Twitter (@NBAFrance). Fans can also purchase all the latest Hornets and Bucks merchandise at NBAStore.eu.
About the French Basketball Federation (FFBB)
Founded in 1932, the French Basketball Federation has 4,300 affiliated clubs and 710,970 members across the country, making basketball the number one indoor sport in France and second team sport overall (first among women). Basketball can be picked up at any age and some clubs are welcoming kids as young as three years old to enjoy BabyBasket and MiniBasket equipment, as well as training programs which are designed specifically for such a young audience. Rims are lowered, balls are smaller and practices are built to make the game simple and entertaining. Girls and boys can play together until they are 11 years old. The French Federation is also in charge of the National Teams, the development of young prospects across the country and their participation in international competitions. It hosts major events such as MiniBasket National Day, the finals of the French Cup or the 3×3 Superleague, a new organisation built around a new Olympic discipline. France ranks 5th in the world today in the FIBA ranking. Additional information about French basketball can be found online at www.ffbb.com.
About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around four professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League. The NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in nearly 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2019-20 season featured 108 international players from 38 countries and territories. 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 1.6 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.