The 2018 Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska is nearing the turn for home. And to add a more “NBA feel” to the event, Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein and WNBA legend and Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes will be flying in to help coach the finalists in the National Training Camp.
Slated on May 19 and 20, the NTC will feature the top 75 boys and girls aged 10-14 chosen from a series of camps held around the country in a series of activities to be held at the Don Bosco Technical Institute and Mall of Asia Music Hall, respectively.
Cauley-Stein and Swoopes will help identify the top eight boys and eight girls to be named as 2018 Jr. NBA Philippines All-Stars and serve as coaches at the Jr. NBA Alumni All-Star Game. The 2018 All-Stars will travel to Shanghai in October to attend NBA China Games 2018 featuring the Philadelphia 76ers and the Dallas Mavericks.
“Filipinos are among the most passionate basketball fans in the world and I’m eager to work with these dedicated young players who have earned the right to be chosen as Jr. NBA All-Stars,” said Cauley-Stein. “I’m excited to share my basketball knowledge and help the kids become the best version of themselves on and off the court.”
“Participating in sports and having proper nutrition are both integral parts of a child’s holistic development as it touches on physical, emotional and mental well-being,” said Swoopes. “Through the Jr. NBA program, I look forward to this opportunity to contribute to our goal of getting more kids, especially girls, to play the game of basketball and help them understand how working hard on their craft in the same way it opened doors for my career, can unlock greater opportunities in life.”
Cauley-Stein, selected 6th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 2016. He averaged 12.8 points, 7 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game with the Kings this season.
Swoopes, signed by the Houston Comets during the 1997 WNBA season, is a four-time WNBA Champion, six-time WNBA All-Star, three-time WNBA MVP and an Olympic gold medalist. Named as part of the WNBA’s Top 15 Players of All Time, Swoopes spent 12 seasons in the WNBA with the Houston Comets, Seattle Storm and Tulsa Shock prior to being inducted into the Naismith Memorial and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
The National Training Camp finalists were selected from Regional Selection Camps in Bacolod, Baguio, Butuan and Metro Manila, and from the Alaska Power Camps in Manila and Subic. The search for the 2018 Coaches of the Year will also conclude at the National Training Camp, and the winning coaches will take part in the NBA experience trip alongside the Jr. NBA All-Stars.
The Jr. NBA, the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls, teaches the fundamental skills as well as the core values of the game at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents. During the 2017-18 season, the NBA will reach more than 26 million youth in 71 countries through a variety of camps, clinics, skills challenges, league play and outreach events.
Jr. NBA Philippines presented by Alaska continues to promote proper nutrition and an active lifestyle, serving as an effective platform in implementing Alaska Milk’s NUTRITION.ACTION.CHAMPION. program that helps address the issue of overweight and undernourished children in the country. AXA, Cloudfone, Gatorade, Globe Telecom and Panasonic serve as Official Partners of the Jr. NBA in the Philippines, while Spalding is a Supporting Partner. ABS-CBN Sports + Action, Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV are the Official NBA Broadcasters of the Jr. NBA in the Philippines.
Fans can also follow Jr. NBA on Facebook and the NBA at www.nba.com and on Facebook andTwitter. To learn more about the Alaska Milk Corporation, visit www.alaskamilk.com and follow PlayPH at www.playph.com and on Facebook and Twitter.
Images from NBA.com and ESPN.