Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Junior NBA league heads for Scotland

Glasgow Rocks' Kieron Achara with young basketball players Image copyright basketballscotland
Image caption Glasgow Rocks' Kieron Achara with young basketball players

The NBA's youth programme is heading to Edinburgh after announcing a partnership with Basketball Scotland.

The link-up will see a school-based basketball league set up for boys and girls aged 11-12, with each co-ed side representing one of the 30 NBA teams.

Players will be kitted out in their corresponding NBA team-branded jerseys.

Squads will be divided into conferences and divisions with a playoffs series ending in a final - a similar format to the NBA.

With the league running from October through December, the programme will aim to teach youngsters the fundamentals of the game, as well as encouraging teamwork, fitness and healthy living.

"We are pleased to partner with Basketball Scotland to promote youth basketball development in Scotland through the launch of our first junior NBA league," said NBA EMEA associate vice president of basketball operations Neal Meyer.

"Together we will offer a programme that fosters healthy competition, teaches the values of the game, and provides an opportunity for children to have fun while learning more about the sport."

Image copyright basketballscotland
Image caption Kieron Achara with young basketball players

During the 2016-17 academic year, there were four junior NBA basketball leagues in the UK, with two based in London, one based in Manchester and another in Birmingham.

Scotland will now join a list of countries to have an NBA junior league, including China, Italy, Spain, Canada, Sweden and Brazil.

"Basketball Scotland are both humbled and excited by the opportunity to partner with the NBA to deliver their junior NBA programme here in Scotland," said Basketball Scotland head of education and development Derek O'Riordan.

"The team is looking forward to engaging with local kids who will benefit from this inspiring programme. The partnership will enable us to use the brand recognition behind the NBA to raise the profile of basketball in areas of Scotland not synonymous or familiar with the sport.

"It is also a ringing endorsement for us as an organisation, and a federation, to be given the prestige of running the junior NBA basketball league. Credit has to go to all the staff at Basketball Scotland for making this happen."

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