A new global youth basketball tournament has been announced for August 2018, with Australia well represented.
The NBA, along with Basketball Australia announced that the Eltham Wildcats and Bulleen Boomers, the respective 2017 Australian Under-14 Boys and Girls Club Champions, will be representing Australia in the Jr. NBA World Championship, which will feature boys and girls teams ages 14 and under from around the world.
Basketball Australia’s Australian Under-14 Club Championships is the first step in the Australian Junior Championship pathway. Each team that attends qualifies through their respective state junior competitions to earn one of the 24 spots. Australian basketballers start their journey through Vicinity Centres Aussie Hoops, a development program for children aged 5-10, before progressing on to their junior representative programs that lead to the Australian Junior Championships.
The Eltham Wildcats and Bulleen Boomers respectively advanced to the Australian Under-14 Club Finals on 7 Oct in Melbourne, and won the boys and girls championship.
“The Jr. NBA World Championship will serve as a platform for standout Australian youth to compete at the highest levels against their peers from around the world and learn the values of the game,” said Francesco Suarez, NBA Asia Vice President of Global Marketing Partnerships, Events and Basketball Operations.
“Basketball Australia has done a tremendous job of teaching and developing talent and we are excited for Australia’s top boys and girls teams to showcase their talents on a global stage.”
Watch the players as the Jr NBA World Championship announcement was made, and they learnt that they would be heading out to Orlando, with all expenses paid.
“The inclusion of Basketball Australia’s Under-14 Club Champions into the Jr. NBA World Championship shows the strength of Australia’s basketball development program and the esteem that it is held in the international basketball landscape,” said Basketball Australia CEO Anthony Moore.
“Bulleen and Eltham are long standing associations with a history of success at a national level and they will represent Australia’s basketball community with respect and determination.”
The Jr. NBA World Championship has a male and female division, with 16 regional champions (eight U.S. and eight international teams) that will receive all-expenses-paid trips to compete in the inaugural event Aug. 7-12, 2018 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Located at Walt Disney World Resort, the world-class venue regularly hosts elite and recreational youth sports competitions.
Ben Simmons, who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers, represented the Bulleen Boomers in the 2008 Australian Under-14 Championships.
This is another big step forward for Australian basketball, following the NBA Global Academy that was introduced last year, at Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. The NBA Global Academy serves as the NBA’s hub for top male and female prospects from outside the United States, employing a holistic, 360-degree approach to player development with focuses on education, leadership, character development and life skills.
Basketball Australia also previously supported the NBA and FIBA’s Basketball without Borders (BWB) Asia camp, which was held in Australia for the first time at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne in June 2016.
More information about the Jr. NBA World Championship can be found at jrnba.com/worldchampionship.