The NBA is investing in Australian Athletes
The NBA in a joint effort with Basketball Australia (BA) is hosting the second NBA Academy Games and BA Prospects Camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra this week.
The NBA Academy Games which runs from 15-21st of July will feature prospects from the NBA Academies in Australia, China, India, Mexico and Senegal, along with five teams comprised of 50 top prospects from Australia, including BA’s Centre of Excellence team.
NBA Academy coaches will also lead the prospects through a variety of activities on and off the court, including movement efficiency, positional skill development, and daily life skills seminars focusing on health and wellness, leadership and communication.
Speaking in an interview with Ministry Of Sport, Senior Manager, International Basketball Operations & Elite Basketball at NBA, Chris Ebersole said the academy is part of the NBA’s overall basketball development strategy.
“We have a junior NBA grassroots program, Basketball without Borders camps for high school kids and the NBA Academy which is the year-round elite basketball development program.”
The NBA academy is currently in 7 markets around the world from launch 2 years ago, and are continuing to add resources to what they see as a sustainable product.
“We are really trying to grow the game in areas where basketball infrastructure is not as developed, as well as becoming a leader in high performance, which is why we are here partnering with Basketball Australia and the AIS.”
The NBA see their international programs as an investment in the game to help increase participation, provide pathways and develop young players in key priority markets.
“Every single athlete in the program is a full-time student,” Chris said.
“We are currently in the middle of our second annual academy games and the focus this week is on that college pathway, which is one of the many pathways athletes can choose to chase their dreams of becoming an NBA player.”
Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence has produced many current and former NBA players, including Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Dante Exum, Joe Ingles, Luc Longley, and Patty Mills.
Providing equal opportunity for women in sport is big on NBA’s radar with the launch of NBA’s Academies Women Program this year, with camps in Mexico, Africa and India.
“An important part of what we are doing is growing the game to involve everybody and we are seeing a ton of enthusiasm around the girls’ program.”
Basketball Australia previously supported the NBA and FIBA’s Basketball without Borders (BWB) Asia camp, which was held in Australia for the first time at Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne in June 2016.