CONAKRY, Guinea – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Solektra International, an energy solutions company investing in economic growth and employment in Africa, today announced the launch of the first Jr. NBA League in Guinea, a school-based basketball league for boys ages 16 and under. As a part of today’s announcement, the NBA and Solektra unveiled a new basketball court featuring a solar-powered lighting system at Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry.
This marks the second Jr. NBA program in partnership with Solektra International, following the launch of the Jr. NBA Senegal League at Liberté 6 court in Dakar in December 2017.
“At Solektra International, we are very proud to bring our support to the NBA and take part in the expansion of basketball in Africa,” said the CEO Solektra International, Samba Bathily. ”We believe in the development of Africa, and specifically the youth, through sports. Our wish is to see more basketball being played across the continent and our company will continue its commitment for this purpose.”
”We are thrilled to launch the first Jr. NBA League in Guinea and unveil the brand new basketball court equipped with the state-of-the-art solar-powered lighting system,” said NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall. “As we continue our efforts to make the game of basketball more accessible across the continent, thanks to our partner, Solektra International, more young people in Conakry will now have an opportunity to learn to play our game and grow with its values, such as teamwork, respect, determination and community.”
The Jr. NBA Guinea League will feature 30 boys school teams from Conakry competing for the league championship. Each school team will represent one of the 30 NBA teams and will receive corresponding NBA team-branded jerseys for their games. The Jr. NBA Guinea League will be supported by Solektra International and the Guinean Basketball Federation.
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.
The Jr. NBA Guinea League is the NBA’s 14th Jr. NBA program in Africa and builds on similar initiatives in Angola, Cameroon, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa.
Last year, the NBA and Solektra partnered to bring basketball infrastructure and programming to Liberté 6 in Dakar, Senegal. The new basketball court was fitted with Solektra’s solar-powered lighting system which made the court more accessible to the local community. Solektra was also an Official Marketing Partner of NBA Africa Game 2017 and the 2017 NBA Africa Innovation Summit hosted in Johannesburg, South Africa in August 2017.
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Solektra International headquarters are in Bamako, Mali with several internaional offices. Solektra focuses on two business strategies to promote African development: the use of solar power to provide access to electricity and secondly water management and clean water solutions. Solektra initiated the Akon Lighting Africa project which aims to provide tangible solutions to the African energy crisis and create a future for Africa. This initiative launched in February 2014 by international music star Akon, youth leader Thione Niang and entrepreneur Samba Bathily has one clear objective: to use innovative solar solutions to provide villages throughout Africa with access to clean electricity. Thanks to its public-private partnership model and network of world-class partners this initiative has rapidly driven a series of high quality solar developments including the installation of street lamps, domestic and community kits in many countries throughout Africa. Akon Lighting Africa currently operates in 17 countries throughout Africa.
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 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 2018-19 season featured 108 international players from 42 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.
About the Jr. NBA
The Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour is the league’s youth basketball participation program that provides a fun environment for kids to learn the fundamentals and values of the game. The Jr. NBA is focused on helping grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents, and offers a free curriculum covering all levels of the game that includes 48 practice plans and more than 250 instructional videos featuring NBA and WNBA players.
The inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship, a first-of-its kind youth basketball tournament for top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world, took place in August 2018. In partnership with USA Basketball, the NBA developed two sets of youth basketball guidelines which promote player health and wellness and age-appropriate rules and standards. Through a network of affiliated youth basketball organizations and programs such as the Jr. NBA Skills Challenge presented by Verizon and 3v3 Leagues presented by Shock Doctor, the Jr. NBA program has reached more than five million youth ages 6-14 in the U.S. and Canada since launching its expanded efforts in October 2015. The Jr. NBA partnership network is comprised of youth basketball programs of all NBA, WNBA and NBA G League teams as well as elementary and middle schools, military bases and longstanding community partners. For more information and to register for the Jr. NBA, visit www.JrNBA.com or download the Jr. NBA app.