MEXICO CITY AND NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2018 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced The NBA Academies Women’s Program, a series of basketball development camps for top female prospects from outside the U.S at the league’s academies. The first camp will be held March 9-11 at The NBA Academy Latin America, an elite basketball training center in Mexico City for the top male and female prospects from throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America.
The NBA, CONADE (Mexico’s National Commission for Physical Culture and Sport) and the Mexican Basketball Federation (Asociacion Deportiva Mexicana de Baloncesto, A.C) will identify 20-25 female prospects ages 17 and under from throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America to attend the first camp. Similar camps are planned in Australia, China, India and Senegal by the end of 2018.
1996 Olympic Gold Medalist and Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member Jennifer Azzi, two-time WNBA Champion Ruth Riley and former college coach Blair Hardiek – the global technical directors for women’s programming across the league’s seven academies – will oversee the camps.
“It’s an honor to be a part of The NBA Academies Women’s Program,” said Azzi. “I’m looking forward to working with the talented girls from Africa, Australia, China, India and Latin America and helping them maximize their potential on and off the court.”
“This program continues our commitment to growing the game among boys and girls at the youth and elite levels around the world,” said NBA Vice President, International Basketball Operations & Head of Elite Basketball, Brooks Meek. “Having Jennifer, Ruth and Blair working directly with these talented young women will help them develop as players and people.”
As part of International Women’s Day and the NBA Academies’ player development and life skills programming, on March 9 the NBA and AT&T will convene a panel of female business and sports leaders at The NBA Academy Latin America for the prospects. The panel will focus on personal and professional development, making the most of opportunities, and goal setting.
The launch of The NBA Academies Women’s Program follows the launch of academies in Canberra, Australia; Jinan, Urumqi and Zhuji, China; Mexico City, Mexico; Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), India; and Thies, Senegal.
NBA Academies include educational development for top male and female prospects from outside the U.S. and mark the NBA’s signature elite player development initiative. The initiative, which employs a holistic, 360-degree approach to player development with focuses on education, leadership, character development and life skills, exposes elite prospects to NBA-level coaching, facilities and competition and provides a global framework for them to maximize their success.
The NBA Academy Latin America, which officially opened this winter, builds on the NBA’s existing basketball development initiatives in Mexico, including the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) and the Americas Team Camp. The NBA Mexico City Games 2017, which featured the Brooklyn Nets playing regular-season games against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 7, 2017 and the Miami Heat on Dec. 9, 2017 at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico, culminated the 25th anniversary celebration of the first NBA game in Mexico and marked the 25th and 26th games in Mexico since 1992, the most NBA games held in any country outside the U.S. and Canada.