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NBA and Basketball England team up

ENCOURAGING: NBA star Luol Deng [Photo credit: Getty Images]

THE NATIONAL Basketball Association (NBA) and Basketball England have announced the expansion of the Jr. NBA Basketball England League – a secondary school basketball programme for boys and girls ages 11-12 – to four leagues across three cities.

Following the success of the first Jr. NBA Basketball England League in London that concluded in January 2015, this year’s edition will feature two leagues in London (one co-ed and one for girls only), and co-ed leagues in both Birmingham and Manchester.

The Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents. During the 2015-16 season, the Jr. NBA will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 32 countries.

“It is great to see this type of programme reaching more children in England, because investing in them is the key to growing the game,” said two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng of the Miami Heat. “I encourage all of the participants make the most of the opportunity, work hard and enjoy playing as a team. Good luck to everyone!”

In each league, 30 secondary schools will play an eight-game season followed by single-elimination playoffs and a league championship. Each school will represent one of the 30 NBA teams and will receive corresponding NBA team branded T-shirts for their games. The leagues will each run from November through March, with the playoffs and league championships to be played in March 2016.

“Together with Basketball England, we are pleased to announce the program’s expansion to four leagues across three cities as we continue to grow the sport at the grassroots level,” said NBA EMEA Senior Director, Basketball Operations Neal Meyer. “Through this secondary school programme, we aim to inspire more kids in England to participate in basketball through a fun and positive experience with the sport.”

“Basketball England is excited that the Jr. NBA Basketball England League is expanding into Birmingham and Manchester, as well as piloting a Jr. NBA Basketball England Girls League in London,” said Basketball England’s Education & Satellite Club Manager Charlie Ford.


YOUNG TALENT: Previous Jr. NBA Basketball England League participants

“The Jr. NBA Basketball England League pilot proved to be a huge success in introducing basketball to children across London. We hope that the partnership with the NBA continues to grow and help attract more young people to the sport.”

Leveraging the excitement of the NBA, the league will again aim to promote shared NBA and Basketball England values of teamwork, leadership, fitness and healthy living through league games, a Jr. NBA youth clinic, and league championship events.

For more information on the Jr. NBA Basketball England League, please visit https://www.basketballengland.co.uk/playcompete/education/junior-nba-league.

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