It’s not often that kids from Africa get to play against kids from Los Angeles. But that’s just what happened in the 2019 Jr. NBA Global Championship game, when the US West boys edged out Africa, 70-61.
On Thursday, the NBA announced that, for the third straight year, they will bring together 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls from across the globe for the 2020 Jr. NBA Global Championship.
The tournament will return to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando from August 11-16. After airing 16 games last year, FOX Sports will once again broadcast this year’s games.
The Global Championship will feature 32 total boys and girls teams, 16 from US and 16 from international regions. The teams, however, are not chosen randomly. They must first win their regional competitions before earning a spot in Orlando.
In the next few months, US squads will square off in eight separate regions, including the Central, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, Northwest, West and South. International teams will do the same, split up between Canada, Mexico, Latin America, Africa, Europe & Middle East, India, China and Asia Pacific. Last year, the regional competitions featured 15,000 players from 75 different countries.
Just like in the Little League World Series, the winning teams from each region will meet in Orlando. The United States and abroad teams will then compete in separate brackets before the top two meet in the championship.
The 2019 Global Championship drew interest from people around the basketball world. Adam Silver, Dwyane Wade and Swin Cash presented the winning teams with trophies, while Grant Hill facilitated the award ceremony. Current Orlando Magic players Aaron Gordon and Mo Bamba even stopped by to watch the week’s action.
2018 WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart already announced her excitement over the 2020 tournament on Twitter.
More information about the event will come out as the Jr. NBA Global Championship tournament nears its August start date. In the meantime, fans can stay updated on the regional rounds by visiting jrnbagc.nba.com.
Benjamin Simon is a contributor to SLAM. Follow him on Twitter @BenjaminSimon05.