NBA to expand Jr. NBA leagues in partnership with UK basketball federations

The National Basketball Association (NBA), Basketball England, and basketballscotland today announced the expansion of the Jr. NBA Leagues in England and Scotland that collectively reach thousands of boys and girls in the UK each year.

The Jr. NBA Basketball England League, which will expand from 16 to 21 leagues, tips off today with a virtual draft for all participants from secondary schools across the country.  The program’s expansion will create opportunities for more than 9,450 boys and girls ages 11-13 across England to play and learn the fundamentals of the game.

The Jr. NBA basketballscotland League, which will begin in January 2022 for boys and girls ages 11-12, will expand from three to seven leagues, including the first Jr. NBA Wheelchair Basketball League, which launched in Scotland during the 2019-20 season for boys and girls ages 9-13.

NBA EME Associate Vice President, Basketball Operations Neal Meyer said:

“We’re excited to continue growing the Jr. NBA programme in the UK in partnership with Basketball England and basketballscotland.

."The Jr. NBA programme provides a platform for young players to learn and play basketball in a fun and exciting environment while teaching important values like teamwork, leadership and respect.”

Basketball England's Senior Relationship and Co-ordination Manager Laura Doherty said:

"From starting the world's very first Jr. NBA league in London back in 2014, we're extremely proud as a federation to still be extending our much-valued partnership with the NBA.

"Today's expansion announcement means we will be starting the 2021/22 season with 21 leagues, the highest number in the world.

"To be able to provide opportunities for nearly 10,000 girls and boys to play basketball and watch how the Jr. NBA Basketball England League creates a springboard for player involvement in the game beyond their school years is very special.

"The fact we have so many returning schools year-on-year is testament to what the league has achieved over its eight years and I'd like to thank all of the teachers and coaches who make the league what it is.

"After an incredibly difficult time through the COVID-19 pandemic, we can't wait to see the Jr. NBA family again and watch as teams embark on their new campaigns".

The Jr. NBA’s expansion in the UK builds on the first Jr. NBA League in Wales, which tipped off with a Jr. NBA draft on Nov. 23 in Aberystwyth.  The new Jr. NBA Basketball Wales League will run in each Wales’s 22 local authorities beginning in March 2022.  The Jr. NBA League programme was piloted in England in 2014 and introduced in Scotland in 2017.

The Jr. NBA is the league’s global youth basketball programme for boys and girls, teaching the fundamental skills of the game – teamwork, respect, determination and community – at the grassroots level in an effort to help grow and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.  The Jr. NBA aims to promote the NBA and UK Basketball Federations’ shared values of leadership, fitness and healthy living through league games, events and clinics.  During the 2021-22 season, the Jr. NBA will reach nearly 37,000 youth in 27 countries in Europe and the Middle East. 

To find out more about the Jr. NBA Basketball England League for 2021/22, including this year's draft for the teams involved, click the button below.