NBA legends to hold camp in Melbourne

NBA legends to hold camp in Melbourne

Forty of the best young basketball players from Australia, China, Korea, and New Zealand will attend the Asia Pacific Team Camp 2011 presented by Nike, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Basketball Australia (BA) announced today. As part of the camp, which marks the NBA’s first development camp in Australia, the players will train under a group of NBA legends and coaches in Melbourne, Australia from September 26 – 29.

Three former players, with a collective 12 NBA Championships between them, will act as coaches at the four-day development camp, which will be held at the Dandenong Basketball Stadium in Melbourne’s South East. Four-time NBA champion Horace Grant (1991-93 Chicago Bulls; 2001 L.A. Lakers) will join his former Chicago Bulls teammate, Australian legend and three-time title winner Luc Longley (1996-98 Chicago Bulls), as well as five-time championship winner Ron Harper (1996-98 Chicago Bulls; 1999-2001 L.A. Lakers) at the camp.

Rounding out the camp coaching staff is Basketball Hall of Famer and assistant coach Alex English (Toronto Raptors), and assistant coaches Jay Triano (Toronto Raptors) and Melvin Hunt (Denver Nuggets).

The NBA invited the top 10 youth players from each of the four countries to participate in the camp.  In addition to basketball instruction, the campers will play daily games and attend motivational and life-skills seminars to learn about leadership, character development, and teamwork. A key focus of the camp will be helping the campers improve their overall fitness level through strength training and conditioning. 

“Melbourne is home to many premier sporting events and a passionate basketball fanbase which makes it a perfect destination for our elite regional camp,” said Scott Levy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NBA Asia.  “Thanks to the support of our partners, including Nike and Basketball Australia, we look forward to tipping off this first-ever event and bringing more exciting NBA events to Australia.”

“This is an outstanding opportunity for some of our most talented young players to learn from their NBA idols and one which I know any Australian junior would give their eyes and teeth for,” said Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Larry Sengstock.  “It is a major coup for Basketball Australia to host this camp in conjunction with the NBA and supported by Basketball Victoria and the Dandenong Basketball Association and, with a host of associated development activities also scheduled around the event, we expect it to have significant benefits for our sport in the long-term.”

Nike, who is presenting partner for the camp, has long been involved in youth sports in the country and George Raveling, Global Director of International Basketball from Nike commented on their participation in the camp, “Developing high-level talent starts from a young age and it is only through consistent playing and training opportunities that the kids can improve.  Nike is pleased to contribute to the growth of the talented athletes selected for the Asia Pacific Team Camp 2011.”

Along with Nike, official partners of the camp include State Government of Victoria and Basketball Victoria. Gatorade and Spalding serve as the camp’s official suppliers. 

Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty said the Victorian Government supports junior basketball development and the staging of events that promote junior pathways.

“Thanks to initiatives like the Asia Pacific Team Camp 2011, up and coming stars have the perfect stage to impress, learn, and showcase their talents to some of the NBA's top former players and coaches,” said Delahunty.  “By providing pathways for young people to get involved and excel in sports like basketball, we can not only launch the careers of future top players, but encourage a life-long commitment to sport and inspire more people to reach their full potential both on and off the court.”

Along with the basketball activities, the camp will feature a series of community events as part of NBA Cares, the NBA’s global social responsibility program. 

“Dandenong Stadium is gaining a reputation as a key venue for international basketball events,” said Greater Dandenong Mayor Roz Blades.  “This recognition is reflected in the NBA and Basketball Australia’s decision to bring such a prestigious sporting event to the City of Greater Dandenong. 

“We thank them for their support and are thrilled our city has been chosen to host this major international basketball event. This is a fantastic opportunity for our city and our residents, as well as the talented young sports people that will participate in this camp.”

For further information on the Asia Pacific Team Camp 2011 presented by Nike, visit www.NBA.com