Basketball Ireland has taken a major step into the international sports marketing arena via a new deal signed with the NBA in the US which will create a Junior NBA League here in Ireland.
The Jr. NBA league will feature 10 Irish clubs who will each partner with three local primary schools to create 30 teams of boys and girls aged eleven and twelve.
Each of the 30 teams will represent an NBA team and will receive corresponding NBA team-branded uniforms for their games.
That means that a child from Cork or Castlebar, Sligo or Swords could be wearing the shirt of Steph Curry or Lebron James.
The Jr. NBA is the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls, teaching 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.
During the current season, the Jr. NBA will reach more than 26 million individual children in 71 countries through a variety of camps, clinics, skills challenges, league play and outreach events.
“We are delighted to partner with Basketball Ireland on the first Jr. NBA league in the country,” said NBA Associate Vice President of Basketball Operations, Europe and Middle East, Neal Meyer. “The Jr. NBA provides a platform for boys and girls in Ireland to learn about the game and the values it teaches including teamwork, respect, determination, and community.”
“We are so excited to run the first-ever Jr. NBA league in Ireland,” said Head of Development for Basketball Ireland, Jason Killeen. “The Jr. NBA is set to bring great excitement to children around Ireland as it allows them to gain experience in the sport of basketball in a fun learning environment.”
Partnering with some of the top Irish clubs from around the country, the league will run from October to December, culminating in a festival of basketball at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght in December.
Leveraging the excitement of the NBA, the league will also promote the Jr. NBA values of teamwork, respect, determination, and community through competitive league play, Jr. NBA Draft and Finals events and Jr. NBA youth clinics.
We have always been a nation that values ourselves just that little bit more when we attract global recognition of what we do. Creating a clear and formal link with the NBA allows Basketball Ireland to attach itself, its games and the sport to one of the biggest and most advanced sports marketing operations in the world.
That can only be a winner for the sport and we look forward to following its progress through the latter part of the year.