The link between what happens in a sport in school and what happens on the biggest of stages is often drawn but rarely brought to life in quite the way as is being done this year for the first time between Basketball Ireland and the NBA.
This week saw the first ever Jr. NBA League draft in Ireland, and the announcement of a new sponsor.
The competition sees 13 clubs around the country partnering with local primary schools to create 30 teams, each one of which has now been drawn to ‘be’ a full-blown NBA team with a full kit to match.
The draft to assign those teams took place this week and the inaugural Jr. NBA Basketball Ireland League will run from October to December, culminating in a festival of basketball at the National Arena on December 12th, where an NBA Ambassador will be in attendance.
It’s an exciting concept bringing the Celtics, the Golden State Warriors and the Lakers to life for kids in a way that goes beyond merchandise.
The League will be sponsored this year by DeCare Dental.
“We’re very excited that the first Jr. NBA Basketball Ireland League is about to start,” said Head of Development at Basketball Ireland, Jason Killeen.
“DeCare is absolutely thrilled to partner with Basketball Ireland and the Jr. NBA,” said Managing Director of DeCare Dental, Maureen Walsh.
“We look forward to supporting these young athletes throughout their sporting journey as they build teams and develop lifelong values and character. The NBA has nurtured some of the world’s top athletes and role models, and this alliance will undoubtedly excite and inspire the children.”
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.
Leveraging the excitement of the NBA, the league will also promote the Jr. NBA values of teamwork, respect, determination, and community through the Jr. NBA draft, competitive league play, finals events, and Jr. NBA youth clinics.