From the beginning, big dreams have been at the heart of the country’s premier basketball development program: the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA presented by Alaska. Recognized as the country’s premiere venue for young Filipino athletes and aspiring coaches to chase their big basketball dreams, more than 36,000 players aged 10-14 and 2,700 coaches have participated since the program’s introduction in 2007. This year, for it’s 10th edition, the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA Philippines has grown even bigger.
This year, the program’s Open-, Cluster-, and Coaches’ Clinics, as well as its Regional Selection Camps welcomed more than 20,400 players and coaches – a whopping 156% increase from the previous year, owing to the introduction of Batangas, Catanduanes, and Cavite to the Regional Selection Camps.
Of these, the top 50 boys and 24 girls from these camps will advance as Finalists to the National Training Camp (NTC), where the 2016 Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars and Coaches of the Year will be announced. The NTC is scheduled to tip off on the 22nd of April and will run until the 24th.
This year, the NTC will be welcoming the New Orleans Pelicans’ point guard Norris Cole and WNBA legend Taj McWilliams as they provide inspiration by training alongside the finalists. As culminating activity, the All-Stars and Coaches of the Year will travel abroad later this year for the ultimate NBA experience. Last year, the activity took place in China, where the All-Stars and Coaches met their Southeast Asian counterparts and watched the inaugural NBA Global Games featuring the Charlotte Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers where His Airness Michael Jordan made a surprise appearance.
While the program may have grown bigger and better over the years, it’s goal has remained the same – to shape young athletes and aspiring coaches to become better on and off the hardwood. In addition to the training they receive, participants are taught the importance of the S.T.A.R. (Sportsmanship, Teamwork, positive Attitude, and Respect) values that can help them succeed beyond the court.
Here’s to the next ten years.