Governor Announces Opening of NBA Junior League in Puerto Rico
The NBA Junior will be made up of 30 teams for children 14 years and older and includes a preliminary event to choose the teams on July 27 of this year.
The regular season of the League, which will be from July 27 to September 16, is followed by a tournament on September 22 and 23 and will culminate with the semifinal and final games on September 29 and 30, respectively.
In addition, on September 30 there will be an NBA Junior Star Game and a Skills Challenge where selected League players will compete.
The tournament was achieved in conjunction with the Recreation and Sports Department and in collaboration with the cereal brand Zucaritas.
"We bet on our young people with basketball aspirations and for them, together with the NBA, we managed to create the first Junior NBA tournament on the Island. There will be 30 teams made up of athletes from the DRD Urban Sport program, participants of public residential facilities and of the athletic league ”, explained the secretary of Recreation and Sports, Adriana Sánchez Parés.
The official emphasized that the event offers young people the opportunity to participate in a tournament with a complete structure and very similar to the format of the adult NBA.
During the 2017-2018 season, the NBA Junior League impacted more than 26 million youth in 71 countries through a variety of community outreach camps, clinics, skill challenges, games and events.
“This opportunity creates the platform for them to expose their sports talents and, better yet, to gain better experiences to continue to succeed in basketball. We are grateful for the support shown by the NBA and we have no doubt that this will be the first initiative of many that we will achieve, ”said Sánchez Parés.
The NBA Junior — global youth basketball program for boys and girls — teaches core skills as well as core values of the game at the community-based level in an effort to help develop the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.
For his part, the NBA vice president and director for Latin America, Arnon de Mello, highlighted his commitment to strengthen efforts and commitment to the growth of basketball on Puerto Rican soil.
"We are very proud to bring this event to Puerto Rico and we work to provide an exciting and fun environment for youth to learn and play this sport," he said.
Ricardo Rosselló Nevares indicated that since the beginning of his mandate, he established the development of sport and recreation as one of the most important commitments within the Plan for Puerto Rico.
“By supporting this initiative, we once again fulfill that commitment and give children and young people the opportunity to have a unique experience, which will serve for their personal and sports growth. As governor and athlete, I am proud that we can join forces with the best basketball league in the world, to positively impact the lives of our children and youth, ”he said.
Likewise, Fernando Zavala, producer of the event in Puerto Rico, assured that the event is a great opportunity to motivate young people and develop them for such an important organization.