As Kevin Durant traveled cross country to join the Brooklyn Nets and Kahwi Leonard returned home to the Los Angeles Clippers, youth basketball players across the world had their mind set on something different—the Jr. NBA Global Championship.
For the past few months, boys and girls ages 13-14 have competed in regional tournaments, fighting for the opportunity to represent their city and country in the world championship.
The winning teams from each U.S. region (Central, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast, West) have advanced to the Orlando-based tournament, where they will face off from August 6-11. Teams from Westchester, NY to San Diego, CA will fill out the sixteen total U.S. boys and girls teams. Last year’s boys world champion, Drive5 Power Elite of Overland Park, KS, will return as the Central region’s representative.
But the tournament won’t just feature teams from the United States—it will host sixteen additional teams from across the globe (Africa, Asia Pacifc, Canada, China, Europe & Middle East, India, Latin America, Mexico). In just its second year of competition, the regional tournaments featured 15,000 youth hoopers from 75 different countries, according to the press release.
In a format similar to the Little League World Series, international and U.S. teams will compete within their respective divisions before the top two teams convene for the Global Championship.
“It was a great idea having an All-Star weekend for these kids. To get to know new cultures, new backgrounds,” Vince Carter said in a promotional video. The future Hall of Famer will serve as a TV announcer for the event.
Carter isn’t the only basketball star involved. Dwayne Wade, Mike Conley, Swin Cash and Breanna Stewart will also “attend the event to watch the competition, interact with the youth teams and participate in leadership development programs,” per the press release.
Throughout the six day event, FOX Sports‘ family of networks will broadcast sixteen of the tournament’s games.
For more information visit the Jr. NBA website.