Jr. NBA rekindles the love of basketball


Alin Constantin photography.

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.

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