The National Basketball Association (NBA) recently announced details of the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship, a youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world that will be held Aug. 6-11 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla.
Thirty-two teams will participate in a week of on-court competition and off-court programming centered on the Jr. NBA’s core values of teamwork, respect, determination and community.
The NBA will introduce a new layer of local competitions, including more than 20 local tournaments – 14 of which will be hosted by NBA teams in their respective markets – to expand the pool of participating boys and girls teams in the U.S. The Dallas Mavericks will host a local qualifying tournament and teams that win at The Sportsplex Dallas, March 22-24th, 2019, will receive an automatic bid to Jr. NBA Global Championship South Regional Tournament in Dallas, June 7-9th, 2019.
Long-time league partner and leading basketball stakeholder USA Basketball will enhance all domestic competitions and help increase accessibility by accrediting local tournaments, again licensing participating coaches, supporting all eight U.S. regional tournaments and promoting best practices through the implementation of the NBA and USA Basketball Youth Guidelines.
Qualifying competitions will tip off in January 2019 and run through June 2019. In the U.S., the winning boys and girls teams from each of the new local tournaments will advance to one of eight regional tournaments in the spring.
The international competition, which will once again leverage the Jr. NBA’s extensive global reach, will expand to additional countries and territories. Top players from the Caribbean will now have the opportunity to compete alongside players from South America for a chance to represent Latin America in the Jr. NBA Global Championship. The Asia Pacific regional competition will expand to include youth from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The winning boys and girls teams from each of the eight U.S. regional tournaments (Central, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast and West) 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. U.S. teams will have the opportunity to register online for a chance to compete in their respective regional tournament.
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.
FOX and FS1 will televise the Jr. NBA Global Championship in the U.S. as part of the multiyear partnership launched last year, while Tencent, the Exclusive Official Digital Partner of the NBA in China, and China Mobile Migu, the Official Telecom Carrier Immersion Platform of the NBA in China, will live stream the Jr. NBA Global Championship in China. Additional international media partners will be announced at a later date.
More than 300 boys and girls from 35 countries participated in the inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship in August 2018. During the week long 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 and dates for the U.S. regional tournaments can be found at JrNBA.com/GlobalChampionship. Registration for teams to compete in the Jr. NBA Global Championship is not yet open but those that sign up online will be notified as soon as registration information is available.
NBA President, Social Responsibility & Player Programs Kathy Behrens said "We are looking forward to building on the success of the inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship to host another best-in-class event. The expanded programming and new strategic partnerships will allow more youth players from around the world to participate in this year’s event and have the opportunity to showcase their talents on a global stage.”
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.