Today marks the tip off of Jr. NBA Week. NBA teams are set to host basketball events all week long to welcome the younger generation to the court. Watch Chris Paul offer ball handling tips in the Jr. NBA video up top, and read more details about the initiative below:
The Jr. NBA presented by Under Armour, the NBA’s youth basketball participation program for boys and girls ages 6-14, tipped off its expanded efforts with the inaugural Jr. NBA Week (Oct. 19-26). The Jr. NBA 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.
All 30 NBA teams will participate in Jr. NBA Week by hosting youth basketball events in their communities and during their open practices. The NBA and Under Armour will host five national launch events in Baltimore, Lexington, Ky., New York, Phoenix and San Antonio, featuring current and former NBA and WNBA players. In total, more than 100 events will be held during Jr. NBA Week.
The Jr. NBA will reach five million youth in the U.S. and Canada over the next two years through a series of basketball clinics, skills challenges and tournaments. As part of this effort, the NBA has developed a Jr. NBA partnership network that includes youth basketball programs of all NBA, WNBA and NBA Development League teams, elementary and middle schools, military bases and longstanding community partners, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Jewish Community Centers of North America, National Association of Police Athletic Leagues, National Recreation and Park Association, National Wheelchair Basketball Association, Special Olympics, and YMCA of the USA.
Additionally, as part of these expanded youth basketball efforts, the league has established the Jr. NBA Leadership Council to help provide direction on the program’s development and evolution. The council consists of prominent basketball influencers and stakeholders, including 2014-15 NBA MVP Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, Duke University and USA Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski, actress and recording artist Zendaya, 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky, Indiana Fever All-Star Tamika Catchings and others. Retired General Martin E. Dempsey, the newly appointed special adviser to Commissioner Silver, will serve as the chairman of the Jr. NBA Leadership Council.