The joy of playing competitive basketball again has made the Jr. NBA experience shine for so many participants.
The landmark joint venture between the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) kicked off on March 5th. It will host more than 450 boys and girls aged 11-14 from Abu Dhabi schools until the finals on May 21st.
This follows a long period in which key COVID-19 regulations have disrupted youth leagues across the region. But the campaign has now moved into a third week at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi, and Mariam Eissa Al Khameeri of the New Orleans Pelicans/ADNOC Schools was thrilled to be a part of it.
“It’s a great experience for us, it’s something new and we haven’t played since the pandemic almost two years ago,” she said after last weekend’s 6-10 loss to the Dallas Mavericks/Al Ain Juniors School .
“It’s something new and it doesn’t matter if we lose or win, it’s just great.”
Winners – from 72 games including the playoffs – will get the chance to watch the game-changing NBA preseason games live in the UAE capital in October. The scouts will also select a boy and girl to have the basketball education of a lifetime at NBA summer camp in Europe.
One player who has already shone is Ahmad Avariani of the Chicago Bulls/Cranleigh School. He won the Player of the Match award when he defeated Indiana Pacers/West Yas Academy 18-4.
He said: “I worked so hard for this opportunity. I trained every day to get better and keep improving in the Jr. NBA and I actually won the MVP.”
To keep up to date with events go to Instagram and Follow @jrnbauae verified account. There you’ll find everything you need from fixtures to results, action pics and amazing videos showcasing the incredible talent.
Use the following hashtags to join the conversation: #JrNBA, #NBAinAbuDhabi, and #JrNBALeague.