The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced an expansion of its second annual Junior NBA Global Championship, with 14 teams from the top US league set to host tournaments as part of a new layer of competitions.
A total of 20 local qualifying tournaments will take place from January to June 2019, with the top teams for boys and girls progressing to one of eight regional competitions in the spring.
Those eight competitions will be supported by USA Basketball, which will play a central role in supporting the events for 13 and 14-year-old boys and girls.
The Championship’s final tournament will feature 32 teams and take place from August 6-11 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.
The international competition will also expand to include additional countries, with top players from the Caribbean now having the opportunity to compete alongside players from South America for a chance to represent Latin America at the championship. Meanwhile the Asia-Pacific regional competition will expand to include youth players from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The winning teams from each of the eight US regional tournaments and the teams representing the eight international regions of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Canada, China, Europe and Middle East, India, Latin America and Mexico – will receive all-expenses trips to compete in the final event.
Coverage of the event will be shown on the Fox network and the FS1 pay-television channel in the US.
The NBA’s president of social responsibility and player programmes, Kathy Behrens, said: “We are looking forward to building on the success of the inaugural Jr. NBA Global Championship to host another best-in-class event.
“The expanded programming and new strategic partnerships will allow more youth players from around the world to participate in this year’s event and have the opportunity to showcase their talents on a global stage.”