The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Symbion Sports Ground Limited (SSGL), a division of Symbion Power, have announced the launch of the first Jr. NBA League in Tanzania.
The school-based Jr. NBA SSGL Basketball League for youth ages 12-14 will be hosted at the Jakaya M. Kikwete (JMK) Youth Park in Dar Es Salaam and will feature 30 local schools, each representing one of the 30 NBA teams.
The launch of the league coincided with the official opening of the JMK Park October 17 with basketball clinics for boys and girls and additional festivities, featuring an appearance by 1992 Slam Dunk Champion Cedric Ceballos and performances by the Atlanta Hawks Sky Squad.
“As we expand the Jr. NBA program across Africa, our partnership with Symbion Sports Ground Limited allows us to create an impactful basketball curriculum for Tanzanian youth,” said NBA Vice President & Managing Director for Africa Amadou Gallo Fall. “In addition, two brand new basketball courts at the JMK Park provide participation opportunity, making the game more accessible for the local youth in Dar Es Salaam.”
Similar to the NBA, teams will be divided into two conferences and six divisions. The regular season, set to tip off in February, will feature the top eight teams from each conference qualifying for the playoffs. The top two teams from each conference will then meet in the league championship to determine the Jr. NBA SSGL Basketball League champion.
Jr. NBA is the league’s global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls that will reach more than 6.5 million youth in 33 countries during the 2015-16 NBA season.
The event featured 2016 WNBA Champion with the Los Angeles Sparks and four-time WNBA All-Star, Alana Beard, President of the Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri, former NBA player Obinna Ekezie and Tanzanian artist Jokate Mwegelo. For more information about the JMK Park visit www.jmkpark.org.