HELSINKI, MIES, NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Finnish Basketball Association (FBA) today announced that Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe will be held Sept. 7-10 at Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Finland. BWB is celebrating its 15th anniversary this summer.
BWB Europe will bring together the top male players born in 1999 from across Europe to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the continent. BWB Europe will also include a Jr. NBA camp for local youth and NBA Cares community outreach efforts teaching the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle and the values of the game, including teamwork, integrity and respect.
Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with Nike apparel and footwear.
Since 2001, BWB has reached more than 2,500 participants from 130 countries and territories, with 37 campers drafted into the NBA. Twenty-one former BWB campers were on opening-night rosters for the 2015-16 NBA season.
The first-ever Basketball without Borders camp took place in Europe in July 2001. Vlade Divac (Serbia) and Toni Kukoc (Croatia), together with former teammates from the Yugoslav national team, reunited to work with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia and Montenegro at La Ghirada in Treviso, Italy. Since then, the NBA and FIBA have staged 45 BWB camps in 26 cities across 22 countries on five continents. More than 210 current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players have joined nearly 160 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams to support BWB across the world.
BWB Asia will be held June 23-26 at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The full BWB 2016 summer schedule will be announced in the coming months. Campers and coaches are announced prior to each camp.
“Bringing Basketball without Borders to Finland for the first time marks the next step in our efforts to grow basketball across Europe,” said NBA EMEA Senior Vice President & Managing Director Benjamin Morel. “Europe continues to produce elite talent, and this camp will provide the next generation of European players with the opportunity to learn the game and the values it teaches, including teamwork, integrity and respect, from some of the best players and coaches in the world.”
“Basketball is experiencing huge growth in Finland, especially at the youth level,” said FIBA’s National Federation & Sport Director Zoran Radovic. “This is the guarantee that the successful performance of the Finnish national team will continue in the future. We look forward to seeing their talented young players and those from across the continent get the most out of this camp, on and off the court.”
“Finnish basketball has taken quantum leaps in the past few years, and bringing Basketball without Borders to Finland is one more fascinating chapter to our story and a privilege for which we are thankful,” said FBA Head Coach Henrik Dettmann. “Last year we hosted an NBA Youth Camp in Helsinki, and it was a tremendous success. We are looking forward to hosting BWB, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that has seen 37 players drafted into the NBA, in September.”
“We have worked extremely hard to elevate basketball in all areas, and the NBA and FIBA bringing Basketball without Borders to Finland for the first time is a direct result of that,” said FBA coach Hanno Möttölä, the first Finnish NBA player. “We welcome all the NBA players, coaches and the rest of the NBA family to enjoy a memorable week in our beautiful capital city and our beautiful National Team training facilities in Kisakallio and to see the best young talent that Europe has to offer.”
About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2015-16 season featured 100 international players from 37 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA.com and the NBA app, which achieved record traffic during the 2014-15 season, as well as NBA TV. The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than one 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.
FIBA (fiba.com) – the world governing body for basketball – is an independent association formed by 215 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. It is recognized as the sole competent authority in basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
About the FBA
The Finnish Basketball Association is the governing body of basketball in Finland, arranging competitions for clubs, the National Team program for players and education for coaches and referees. There are 12,000 games played annually in its competitions. National Teams play around 150 games in a year. Finland is considered one of the top climbers in European basketball in men’s competitions in recent years, which has made the sport more popular in the country. Participating in its first ever FIBA World Cup in 2014, Finland had an unprecedented number of fans (10,000) cheering for its National Team, known as Susijengi (Wolfpack), in Bilbao, Spain. In September 2017 Finland will co-host FIBA EuroBasket, the European Championship for Men, with Israel, Romania and Turkey. Before Basketball without Borders, Finland will host the U20 FIBA European Championship from July 16-24, 2016, in Helsinki.
For more information, visit www.basket.fi and follow @basketfinland on Twitter.