The Bonds They Forged

Through their common passion for basketball, our Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars were able to form strong bonds with their Southeast Asian counterparts.

Cover Image: Through their common passion for basketball, our Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars were able to form strong bonds with their Southeast Asian counterparts. (facebook.com/merliza.main)

The story of Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA All-Stars is a perfect example of how the pursuit of an active lifestyle can actually lead to the accomplishment of lifelong dreams.

Through their long journey that was culminated with their ultimate NBA experience, held in China, the All-Stars got a sample of just how big their beloved sport is on the global stage. They got to interact with different cultures, explore a historic city over 1,000 kilometers away from home, watch the first-ever NBA Global Game, held at Shenzen, China. Best of all, they got to see their NBA idols along with the game’s greatest legends up-close such as Dikembe Mutombo and His Airness himself, Michael Jordan. It was the experience of a lifetime – one that they will never forget.

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His Airness Michael Jordan made a surprise appearance on the NBA Global Game between his team, the Charlotte Hornets, and the LA Clippers at Shenzen Universaide Center, China. (nba.com)

With the skills, S.T.A.R. (Sportsmanship, Teamwork, positive Attitude, Respect) values, and memories they picked up on the trip, these inspiring champions went home ready to enter a new chapter of their lives as better athletes and better individuals.

The bonds that they made through the songs they sang on the bus, the people they met from other countries – even their cheers as they watched their idols play – will never be forgotten. It was the experience of a lifetime, and a chapter in their lives that will live on forever, not just because of basketball, but through the friendships they forged.

“I will miss the kindness of my teammates,” said Jr. NBA All-Star and MVP John Ernest Felicilda. “Sportsmanship, Teamwork, positive Attitude and Respect are values that I will never forget. I will always be thankful for the skills that I have learned and developed in the whole experience.”

They came from different corners of the Philippines, with different backgrounds and separate lives. Thousands of young athletes brought together by their common passion for basketball. Through their hard work, they went the distance. Through their experience, they became a family. This is what the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA program is all about – nurturing the youth and bringing them closer to their dreams.

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