NBA launch Junior League in Nairobi
Updated: 2016-11-08 10:05
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (left) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards guard John Wall defends in the first quarter at Verizon Center, Washington DC, US on Nov 7, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]
NAIROBI - Kenya's grassroots basketball is set to receive a major boost next year from the National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa following the launch of the NBA Junior League in Nairobi on Monday.
The league, which will target on teenage players across the country, will tip off next year in a move that seeks to develop basketball stars of the future.
US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said his embassy would donate 10,000 US dollars to the project that partners with the NBA and Gina Din Foundation.
Thirty teams will feature in the league which will follow a similar structure to the NBA.
They will be divided into the Eastern and Western Conferences with dominant sides proceeding to the playoffs, conference finals and finals. The winners will be awarded with a trophy and championship rings.
"The NBA is a superstar league across the globe and I believe that the junior league will be exciting addition to the Kenyan sports scene. It is for this reason that the United States will be awarding the league a grant of 10,000 dollars towards the competition," Godec said.
"Young people will learn important skills not just on the court but in life as well. I' m looking forward to seeing Kenyan names on NBA rosters in the near future," he added.
"NBA Africa has identified Kenya as one of the five priority countries due to the passion of basketball," said NBA Africa Vice President and Managing Director Amadou Gallo Fall.
"Since we established our office in 2010, our key pillar is social responsibility and giving back to communities which is part of driving the popularity of the game around the world. We are delighted to be working with both the United States Embassy and the Gina Din Foundation on this project," he added.
NBA is already running similar competitions in eight countries across Africa with 12 million players currently taking part.
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