— Tamika Catchings, Dwyane Wade, Andre Drummond, Vince Carter, Brook Lopez, Grant Hill Among NBA and WNBA Stars to Participate in Weeklong Schedule of On- and Off-Court Activities
NEW YORK — The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced the rosters of the 32 teams that will compete at the Jr. NBA World Championship, a first-of-its kind global youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world. The competition will take place Aug. 7-12 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.
Three-time NBA Champion and Jr. NBA World Championship Global Ambassador Dwyane Wade, 10-time WNBA All-Star and WNBA Champion Tamika Catchings, 2018 NBA All-Star Andre Drummond, eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez, 2018 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Grant Hill and WNBA Legends Swin Cash and Jennifer Azzi will join the 317 boys and girls from 35 countries at the first Jr. NBA World Championship.
FOX Sports will air 16 games throughout the week, totaling 20 hours of programming across FS1 and FOX.
The inaugural event will bring together the top 32 boys and girls teams (16 U.S. and 16 international) that advanced from regional competitions earlier this year.
“After several months of highly competitive regional competitions around the world, we are excited to bring together a field of 32 teams that not only excel on the court, but also represent the Jr. NBA’s core values of teamwork, respect, determination and community,” said Kathy Behrens, NBA President, Social Responsibility and Player Programs. “We are looking forward to an exciting week of on- and off-court activities that will provide these young players with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“The Jr. NBA World Championship is more than a basketball competition; it’s a global stage for some of the top youth players from around the world to showcase their talent, have fun and learn from one another,” said Wade. “I am excited to watch these young stars leave it all on the court and compete for the first Jr. NBA World Championship title.”
Five of the teams have ties to NBA and WNBA players: three-time WNBA Champion and WNBA all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi (West; Girls), four-time WNBA All-Star Skylar Diggins-Smith (Midwest; Girls), three-time NBA Champion Draymond Green (Midwest; Boys), 2017-18 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons (Asia Pacific; Girls) and NBA guard Shelvin Mack (Southeast; Boys).
The Jr. NBA World Championship will feature boys and girls divisions, separated into U.S. and international brackets that begin with round-robin play and continue with single-eliminations competition. The winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the World Championship games on Aug. 12.
All games will be officiated by representatives from the NBA’s Referee Development Program, which provides rising professionals and former players with the skills necessary to pursue a career as a referee in the NBA, WNBA or NBA G League.
During the weeklong event, all 32 teams will participate in activities designed to reinforce the Jr. NBA’s core values and provide the players with development opportunities and memorable experiences off the court. Drummond and Azzi will welcome the teams in an opening ceremony on Aug. 5, followed by a celebratory parade at Magic Kingdom Park.
From Aug. 6-8, each player will participate in three life skills sessions as part of the event’s Developing the Total Athlete Series led by NBA and Kaiser Permanente health experts and supported by NBA and WNBA talent, covering the total health spectrum of mind, body and spirit in a culturally inclusive environment. In partnership with KaBOOM!, the Jr. NBA World Championship Day of Service on Aug. 9 will feature all 32 teams giving back to the local community by collectively building a new playground for community youth at the nearby Oak Street Park. Additionally, Gatorade will host a health and wellness session through the Gatorade Sports Science Institute which will educate participants on hydration measures and provide custom fueling recommendations for each athlete.
More information about the Jr. NBA World Championship can be found at JrNBA.com/WorldChampionship.