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NBA AND MACCABI FOX TEL AVIV BASKETBALL CLUB LAUNCH FIRST JR. NBA LEAGUE IN ISRAEL

– Inaugural League for 450 Boys from Maccabi’s Academy to Take Place in Tel Aviv –

TEL AVIV, March 27, 2017 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv today announced a new partnership to create the first Jr. NBA Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball League, an after-school basketball league for boys ages 10-11. The announcement was made today at the Maccabi Tel Aviv Hall of Fame by NBA EMEA Vice President, Basketball Business Operations Jesus Bueno and Maccabi Tel Aviv Deputy CEO Eli Drikes.

The Jr. NBA Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball League will feature 450 boys from Maccabi’s academy competing on 30 teams for the league championship in June.  Each team will represent one of the 30 NBA teams and will receive corresponding NBA team-branded jerseys for their games.

“We are pleased to partner with the country’s most iconic basketball club, Maccabi Tel Aviv, to launch our first Jr. NBA league in Israel,” said Bueno. “This program will provide a fun environment for children to compete against one another and not only learn the game of basketball, but also important life skills like teamwork, leadership and respect. We look forward to crowning the first Jr. NBA Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball League champion in 2017.”

“We are excited to co-organize the first Jr. NBA league in Israel together with the NBA,” said Maccabi Tel Aviv Sports Director Nikola Vujcic. “Leading clubs and organizations should promote the game for the younger generations, bringing them closer to sports, and I think this league will fit perfectly with our academy and the many teams we have catering to children of this age all over the city of Tel Aviv. Kids will be excited to wear jerseys with both our logo and the logos of NBA teams and will enjoy this unique experience.”

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.  Since the 2015-16 season, the NBA has engaged more than 12 million youth through its basketball participation efforts, with Jr. NBA programs in more than 50 countries.

Similar to the NBA, teams will be divided into two conferences.  The Jr. NBA Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball League’s regular season will run from April through May, with the top eight teams from each conference qualifying for the playoffs.  The top two teams from each conference will then meet in the championship game in June to determine the first Jr. NBA Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball League champion. The championship games, as well as select regular-season and playoff games, will be played in the Hadar Yossef facility where Maccabi’s senior youth teams compete.

Leveraging the excitement of the NBA, the league will also promote shared values of teamwork, leadership, fitness and healthy living through competitive league play and Jr. NBA youth clinics.

For more information on the first Jr. NBA Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball League, please visit www.maccabi.co.il/JrNBA

For more information about the NBA, fans can visit NBA.com, Facebook.com/NBA and @NBA on Twitter.  Fans can download the NBA App for news, updates, scores, stats, schedules, videos and more. 

For more information about Maccabi Tel Aviv, fans can visit maccabi.co.il, Facebook.com/maccabitlv and @maccabitlvbc on Twitter.  Fans can download the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball App for news, updates, scores, stats, schedules, videos and more. 

About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association, and the NBA Development League.  The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents.  NBA rosters at the start of the 2016-17 season featured a record 113 international players from 41 countries and territories.  NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com and the NBA App, which achieved record viewership and traffic during the 2015-16 season.  The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than 1.3 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms.  Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.

About Maccabi Tel Aviv
Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball Club is an Israeli professional basketball organization, founded in 1932. It’s one of the most successful pro teams ever with a total of 103 titles: 6 European championships, 51 Israeli league championships, 44 Israeli cups, 1 Adriatic league championship and 1 Intercontinental cup. Maccabi has been an important part of the Euroleague and top European basketball competitions since the 1950’s, winning its first European title in 1977 and not looking back since. Maccabi has fans all over the world and is known as the ‘team of Israel.’