The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL) today announced that Basketball without Borders (BWB) Asia will be held June 23-26 at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Australia. BWB will celebrate its 15th anniversary this summer.
BWB Asia will bring together the top male players born in 1999 from around the Asia-Pacific region to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the region. BWB Asia will also include a girls camp for the top female players in Victoria and a Jr. NBA camp for local youth.
“We are pleased to partner with FIBA and the NBL to bring the first Basketball without Borders camp to Australia,” said NBA Asia Managing Director Scott Levy. “The league has seen a surge of Australian talent in recent years, and we look forward to supporting the next generation by giving them a platform to showcase their skills alongside their peers from throughout the region.”
“This historic, first-ever NBA and FIBA Basketball without Borders Asia Camp in Australia presents an incomparable opportunity for players from many countries throughout Asia and Oceania,” said Camp Director and President of the World Association of Basketball Coaches (WABC) Patrick Hunt. “The players and coaches will work with the campers to enhance their skills, shape their character, and teach values that lead to success in life and our wonderful, global game.”
“Victorians love their basketball, and we’ve produced some of the world’s great stars,” said Victorian Government for Sport, Tourism and Major Events John Eren MP. “Australian NBA and national team players made their names in our local associations, and this is another great chance to uncover another star of the game. But it’s not just about identifying talent. Basketball without Borders is a great chance to teach our kids important values and lessons that will stay with them for life.”
“This camp will showcase the best young basketball talent Australasia has to offer in front of some of the world’s best players and coaches from the NBA, and FIBA, along with a very impressive selection of our own NBL coaches and players, past and present, many of whom played in the NBA themselves,” said NBL General Manager Jeremy Loeliger. “It is a great opportunity to place Australian basketball and the NBL on the map internationally as the premier basketball destination in Australasia, and we are excited to see this event come to fruition thanks to the support of the NBA, FIBA, the Victorian Government, Basketball Victoria and Basketball Australia.”
In addition to working with the campers on the court, NBA, FIBA and NBL players and coaches will lead extensive community outreach events through NBA Cares that will leave a lasting legacy in Melbourne and Geelong. These social responsibility efforts will focus on youth basketball development and teaching the values of the game on and off the court. Activities will include a Jr. NBA youth basketball clinic, an NBA Cares court dedication, a Jr. NBA wheelchair basketball exhibition game and clinic and life skills sessions stressing the importance of leadership, character and communication.
Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with Nike apparel and footwear.
Since 2001, BWB has reached more than 2,500 participants from 130 countries and territories, with 37 campers drafted into the NBA. Twenty-one former BWB campers were on opening-night rosters for the 2015-16 NBA season.
The first-ever Basketball without Borders camp took place in Europe in July 2001. Vlade Divac (Serbia) and Toni Kukoc (Croatia), together with former teammates from the Yugoslav national team, reunited to work with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia and Montenegro at La Ghirada in Treviso, Italy. Since then, the NBA and FIBA have staged 45 BWB camps in 26 cities across 22 countries on five continents. More than 210 current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players have joined nearly 160 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams to support BWB across the world.
The full BWB 2016 summer schedule will be announced in the coming months. Campers and coaches will be announced prior to each camp.