Over the last pair of decades, basketball fans have witnessed how the NBA and WNBA have made huge strides in terms of international outreach and their hopes of global development for the game of basketball.
Recently, the NBA announced the launch of its first-ever international youth basketball tournament. The Los Angeles Sparks’ Candace Parker, along with Dwyane Wade, were named co-global ambassadors for the initiative.
The tournament will be comprised of 16 regional champions from around the world with eight of them being from the United States. The teams will receive all-expense paid trips to compete in the first-ever Jr. NBA World Championships in August. It is also being done in collaboration with FIBA and USA Basketball.
The eight United States-based teams will represent regional champions of the Central, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Northwest, South, Southeast, and West. The eight international champions will represent the following areas around the globe: Africa/Middle East, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe, India, Mexico, and South America.
Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex is where the event will crown a world champion.
As a global ambassador, I’m looking forward to making a positive impact on the participants, both on and off the court.
Basketball means so much to me and my family, and I look forward to helping the NBA improve the game at the youth level for the next generation of players from around the world.
According to the Huffington Post, the Jr. NBA curriculum includes almost 50 practice plans and over 200 instructional videos featuring WNBA players such as Parker and NBA players such as Wade.
North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, Iowa, and Kansas are considered the Central region. The Mid-Atlantic region is comprised of Delaware, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. The Midwest region includes Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Northeast is all of the New England states plus New York and New Jersey. Northwest is Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, and Washington. South – Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Southeast includes Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. West is comprised of Arizona, California, Utah, Nevada, and Hawaii.
The Central regionals will take place June 15-17 in Lawrence, Kansas. Garden Grove, California will serve as the site for the West regionals from May 11-13. Southeast is from June 1-3 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Frisco, Texas shall host the South regional from June 8-10. The Northwest regional in Ardsley, New York and the Northwest’s in Salem, Oregon will take place simultaneously in terms of the dates – June 29-July 1. The Midwest regional will be June 15-17 in Westfield, Indiana and the Mid-Atlantic’s regional will be June 22-24 in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Seven of the eight international regionals will be in May except for Canada’s which will occur in June.
I’m so excited to be named #JrNBAWorldChampionship Global Ambassador and see young girls and boys from around the world compete at the highest level! 70+ countries. 32 Teams. 1 Global Event. Learn more at https://t.co/iZGhLtK70d!
— Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker) December 18, 2017
— Elena Delle Donne (@De11eDonne) December 18, 2017