The Jr. NBA Global Championship 2019 tipped off at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida this morning with current and former NBA and WNBA players welcoming 316 young boys and girls from 40 countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe.
Orlando Magic legend Dennis Scott opened the ceremony, joined by 2019 NBA Champion, Danny Green; Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon; 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, Jennifer Azzi; former NBA player and NBA Cares Ambassador, Jason Collins; former NBA player, Pops Mensah-Bonsu; and former NBA player and NBA G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
Following the formal opening, the kids took part in various on-court activities, including a three-point contest and a dance competition.
Tomorrow morning the youth teams will take part in their first life skills seminar: Respect for the Game. The first session will reinforce life skills that youth should develop to position themselves for success on and off the court.
Three-time NBA Champion and Jr. NBA Global Championship Ambassador Dwyane Wade, Utah Jazz guard and 2019 NBA Sportsmanship and Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award recipient Mike Conley, 2018 WNBA MVP and WNBA Champion Breanna Stewart, New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development and former WNBA All-Star Swin Cash and Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle will attend the event to watch the competition, interact with the youth teams and participate in leadership development programs.
Supported by long-time league partners FIBA and USA Basketball, the 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 that collectively reached more than 15,000 youth from 75 countries. The 16 international teams (eight boys and eight girls teams) represent Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe & Middle East, India, Latin America and Mexico.
GiveMeSport will bring you all the updates from Orlando throughout the week.