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Wildcats, Boomers for 'Worlds' in Florida

ELTHAM Wildcats and Bulleen Boomers will represent Australia at the inaugural Junior NBA World Championship in Orlando, Florida from August 7-12 in a huge announcement for basketball today.

Eltham's boys team and Bulleen's girls side are the reigning 2017 Australian Under-14 Club Champions and will attend the all-expenses paid trip to the tournament which will feature 16 teams competing in each gender.

Orlando, already known as "The Theme Park Capital of the World" is the perfect destination to stage the inaugural event, the first ever global youth basketball tournament of its kind.

This phenomenal concept will feature eight American and eight international teams, all regional champs, with competing players aged 14 and under.

It will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

“The inclusion of Basketball Australia’s Under-14 Club Champions into the Jr NBA World Championship shows the strength of Australia’s basketball development program and the esteem that it is held in the international basketball landscape,” BA chief executive Anthony Moore said today.

HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? Not yet, but Eltham and Bulleen's U14 champs were about to...

“Bulleen and Eltham are long-standing associations with a history of success at a national level and they will represent Australia’s basketball community with respect and determination.”

With 12 Under-14 Club Champion titles since the championships tipped off in 1970, Bulleen is the nation's most successful club at that level.

Eltham won the boys title with a 52-43 win over Sydney Comets in the Final after earlier losing to the NSW outfit.

But who knew what it would come to mean? Thousands of players and hundreds of teams annually have competed in the nation's #1 club junior event, mostly for the wonderful experience it is and for the prestige.

But to continue on now onto an international stage? In Orlando? It is fantastic and almost unbelievable.

The Jr NBA World Championship will include round-robin competition followed by single-elimination boys and girls tournaments.

Winners of the U.S. and international brackets will play in the championship games on August 12.

The NBA and FIBA previously ran a senior international world club tournament, the McDonald's Cup, the NBL's Perth Wildcats competing in London in 1995 and the Adelaide 36ers contesting the 1999 series in Milan, Italy.

BA played a role in the NBA and FIBA’s "Basketball without Borders" Asia camp at Dandenong Stadium in June, 2016.

In June, 2017, the NBA and BA partnered to open the NBA Global Academy, an elite training facility at BA’s Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

“The Jr NBA World Championship will serve as a platform for standout Australian youth to compete at the highest levels against their peers from around the world and learn the values of the game,” Francesco Suarez, NBA Asia Vice-President of Global Marketing Partnerships, Events and Basketball Operations said today.

“Basketball Australia has done a tremendous job of teaching and developing talent and we are excited for Australia’s top boys and girls teams to showcase their talents on a global stage.”

What a sensational opportunity. Go Wildcats! Go Boomers!

BREAKING THE GOOD NEWS: Giving junior basketball a huge international boost.

Feb 1

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