France, NBA Announce Expanded Youth Basketball Development Programming Ahead of Paris 2024

The programming, which will be hosted in collaboration with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Union Nationale du Sport Scolaire (UNSS), will build on Jr. NBA programming that has reached more than a quarter of a million French youth over the past decade


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France, NBA Announce Expanded Youth Basketball Development Programming Ahead of Paris 2024


The National Basketball Association (NBA), the French Basketball Federation (FFBB) and the LNB Betclic ELITE (LNB) – France’s top professional basketball league – today announced several initiatives to expand youth basketball development in France ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games in Paris, where basketball will be a featured sport.

The programming, which will be hosted in collaboration with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Union Nationale du Sport Scolaire (UNSS), will build on Jr. NBA programming that has reached more than a quarter of a million French youth over the past decade.

As part of the announcement, the NBA, the FFBB and the LNB plan to launch a new player development program to develop elite-level prospects in the LNB, which the FFBB and the LNB plan to share more information about in the coming months. And beginning Saturday, Jan. 20 when Élan Chalon hosts JL Bourg at 6:30 p.m. CET / 12:30 p.m. ET, the NBA will livestream one LNB game each week to fans in France, the U.S., and more than 150 other countries around the world.

The LNB currently features four players who are projected by ESPN to be drafted in the 2024 NBA Draft: Melvin Ajinca (Saint-Quentin), Zacharie Perrin (Antibes), Zaccharie Risacher (JL Bourg), and Tidjane Salaun (Cholet Basket).

The announcement was made during the largest Jr. NBA Week ever, which is reaching nearly 4,000 youth, coaches and referees from across Paris and parts of Europe and the Middle East through a series of clinics and workshops featuring four-time NBA champion Tony Parker (France), two-time WNBA All-Star Sabrina Ionescu (New York Liberty), French Men’s National Team head coach Vincent Collet, and French Women’s National Team assistant coach Cathy Melain, and ahead of The NBA Paris Game 2024 presented by Revolut, which will feature the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers playing the league’s third regular-season game in Paris on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. CET. The NBA Paris Game 2024 presented by Revolut will air live on beIN SPORTS, free- to-air Canal+ and NBA League Pass – the league’s premium live game subscription service available via the NBA App – reaching fans in more than 200 countries and territories on television, digital media, and social media.

On Friday, Jan. 12, the NBA, the FFBB and the UNSS will launch a new annual Jr. NBA League in Paris for 450 youth ages 13 and under from 30 schools across the city. The league will tip off with a draft event that will be attended by former French Women’s National Team member Diandra Tchatchouang and former French Men’s National Team member and NBA player Ian Mahinmi.

This Spring, the NBA and the FFBB will also launch a new Jr. NBA 3-on-3 League in Marseille for 450 youth ages 13 and under from 30 schools across the city.

The NBA’s International Basketball Operations Department, which oversees the league’s elite basketball development programming including Basketball Without Borders and NBA Academy that have seen more than 115 former participants advance to the NBA and WNBA, is working with the FFBB and the LNB to elevate all aspects of their elite player development and retention strategies, including through the planned launch of the NBA, the FFBB and the LNB’s new player development program.

In addition, throughout this week, NBA Academy Africa – an elite basketball training center in Saly, Senegal for the top male and female prospects from across Africa and the first of its kind on the continent – and an NBA Academy U-17 select team featuring top prospects from NBA Academy Africa, NBA Global Academy (Australia) and NBA Academy Latin America (Mexico), are playing a series of exhibition games in Paris against youth teams from the LNB’s Paris Basketball and Nanterre as well as an FFBB team from INSEP (France’s National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance).

Last January, in conjunction with The NBA Paris Game 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced a comprehensive plan to collaborate on a variety of initiatives to elevate basketball in France and Africa at all levels. Since then, the NBA, the FFBB and the LNB have held several youth basketball development events in France, as well as several workshops covering all aspects of fan engagement and the commercialization of basketball, including media distribution, content production, elite player development and retention, and more.

Below is an overview of additional youth basketball development and fan engagement programming in France this week and in the coming months.

  • Beginning Jan. 11 at NBA House (https://apo-opa.co/48yfcLR) – a free, interactive fan event at the Carreau du Temple in the 3rd Arrondissement featuring appearances by Parker and Ionescu – and continuing through the 2024 NBA Playoffs, the league will host a series of viewing parties in France where fans will be able to watch live NBA games together, including in primetime as part of the league’s “NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays” primetime initiative. Fans can register their interest in receiving more information NBA.com/IDFrance (https://France.ID.NBA.com).
  • As part of Jr. NBA Week:
    • Eleven current and former players, legends and coaches are helping lead clinics: Parker, Ionescu, Mahinmi, Tchatchouang, former NBA player and French Men’s National Team member Mickaël Piétrus, Cavaliers assistant coach Dan Geriot, Nets assistant coach Will Weaver, Collet, Melain, former Paris Basketball player Amara Sy, and Head of Paris Basketball Training Program Christophe Denis.
    • The NBA and the FFBB are hosting the Paris regional finals of their annual Jr. NBA Challenge Benjamin(e)s program Skills Challenge, which reaches 15,000 boys and girls across France annually through a variety of skills competitions. The two winners (boys and girls) will each receive two tickets to The NBA Paris Game 2024 presented by Revolut.
    • The NBA and the FFBB held a 3-on-3 basketball tournament featuring 23 teams of boys and girls ages 15-18 competing for the chance to attend The NBA Paris Game 2024 presented by Revolut.
    • Ninety local female players participated in Her Time To Play programming comprised of on-court basketball development, conversations focused on female empowerment, and opportunities for women in sports and leadership.
    • The NBA is collaborating with the LNB’s Paris Basketball on a series of Jr. NBA and coaching clinics, including a Jr. NBA clinic on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Accor Arena prior to Paris Basketball’s game against AS Monaco, which the youth participants will attend.
    • Earlier this week, coaches from the Cavaliers, the Nets, and France Men’s and Women’s National Teams led clinics for local coaches to teach techniques and best practices for team and player development at any level. Top male and female players from the FFBB team from INSEP and Paris Basketball Academy participated as demo teams. The clinics were also livestreamed to coaches across Europe, the Middle East and Latin America on OWQLO, the official app of the Jr. NBA program in those regions.
    • The NBA is hosting a Jr. NBA League Workshop at the FFBB headquarters in Paris for representatives from the Jr. NBA Leagues across Europe and the Middle East to share best practices around the program and identify opportunities for collaboration and growth.
  • NBA Africa and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – France’s inclusive public development bank committed to financing and technical assistance for projects that improve the lives of people in developing and emerging economies – continue to promote social inclusion in Africa by developing basketball infrastructure and conducting youth basketball programs, events and initiatives in select African countries, including in 2023 in Morocco and Nigeria. This year, NBA Africa and AFD plan to expand the collaboration to Kenya and Senegal.
There have been more NBA players from France than from any other country outside North America, including a record 14 this season. Live NBA games and programming air in France on beIN SPORTS and NBA League Pass, including more than 40 weekend games in primetime this season as part of “NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays.”

Executive Quotes:

French President Emmanuel Macron:

“I am proud that the NBA has chosen France for this unique, innovative and virtuous partnership. It is great news for all basketball fans in France, and a real boost for our best young hopefuls, as well as for all our clubs and professional basketball leagues.”

French Minister of Sports and Olympic and Paralympic Games Amélie Oudéa-Castéra:

“On the eve of the Paris 2024 Games and a spectacular Olympic edition of basketball to be held at the Pierre Mauroy stadium and Arena Bercy, we are extremely pleased to strengthen our global partnership with the NBA. Along with President Macron and Commissioner Adam Silver, we are proud of and delighted with this cooperation, which builds on the Jr. NBA programming that has already helped more than 250,000 French youngsters over the past 10 years. These new initiatives highlight the prestige of French training and the expertise of our clubs, as demonstrated by the record presence of 14 French players in the NBA this season.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver:

“We’re excited to expand on our on-going efforts with President Macron and the French basketball community to grow youth basketball development programming ahead of this summer’s highly- anticipated Olympic basketball competition. There is incredible momentum around basketball and the NBA in France, and through these efforts we hope to inspire our next generation of French players and fans.”

FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis:

“I couldn’t have imagined a better start to the Olympic year in the host city of Paris, with so many basketball activities taking place, ranging from grassroots events to the highest level of professional basketball. There is no doubt that the popularity of our sport will continue to rise in a country that is already so enthusiastic about the game.”

FFBB President Jean-Pierre Siutat:

“For the third year, the NBA is coming to Paris as part of The NBA Paris Game for a regular-season match at the Accor Arena. In addition to the match, we’re taking advantage of the opportunity to organize a week of basketball events thanks to a strengthened partnership between the FFBB and the NBA, a partnership that has been in place since 2010. This collaboration covers youth programs such as the Jr. NBA Challenge Benjamin(e)s program, the Jr. NBA League FFBB UNSS, the Jr.

NBA 3-on-3 League in Marseille, as well as programs linked to the development and training of young talent to which the federation is very attached. Relations with the NBA involve all of the stakeholders in French basketball, which is very positive for the growth of our sport. The FFBB is a leading federation in Europe for the NBA, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank President Macron and Adam Silver for their support in this development strategy, which is all the more relevant in an Olympic year.”

LNB President Philippe Ausseur:

“I am delighted with this global agreement with the NBA, which reaffirms the current dynamic of French professional basketball. Through this agreement, it is the global recognition of the excellence of French training of which our clubs are the great architects. Finally, the broadcast of one Betclic ELITE championship match per week on the NBA App demonstrates our attractiveness and our ongoing capacity to develop to attract new audiences.”

UNSS Directeur National Olivier Girault:

“We are delighted to be back in Paris with the launch of this new edition of the Jr. NBA FFBB UNSS League. This event reflects the long and perfect collaboration between the UNSS and the FFBB. By teaming up with a world-renowned league like the NBA, we are also demonstrating the importance of opening up to the international arena for our young people. We also want to strengthen the links between FFBB clubs and school sports associations in junior and senior high schools, with the common aim of offering more basketball at school. This year, more than 500 UNSS-licensed students will get involved and discover basketball thanks to these two NBA FFBB UNSS Leagues.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Basketball Association (NBA).

Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)
ISSN 2354 - 4104


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