May 3, 2018

Youth teams from Bengaluru and Delhi win Jr. NBA National Finals and will represent India at Jr. NBA World Championship

An NBA star was in the audience. A state-of-the-art facility was available for their use. And a shot to represent the country in a major international basketball event was at the offering. And it was under these exciting circumstances that two young teams stepped up to claim victory and their chance to further glory.

The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA National Finals, a competition that featured the best boys' and girls' teams from the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA programme this season, took place at the NBA Academy India in Greater Noida from April 29 - May 2. On the final on Wednesday, while visiting NBA star Brook Lopez in attendance, Bengaluru Girls and Delhi Boys made the biggest impact and walked away with a victory. Their wins secured them a ticket to play in the first-ever Jr. NBA World Championship set to be held in the USA later this year.

In the girls' final, Bengaluru squeaked past Chennai 41-38 to secure a win. Delhi's boys beat Kolkata 81-71 in the boys' finale right after. The two sides received their winner's trophy from Lopez, the Los Angeles Lakers' center who is visiting India to promote youth basketball development this week.

The Jr. NBA National Finals has brought together eight boys and eight girls teams, comprising top 10 players from each Junior NBA city tournament in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kerala, Kolkata, Mumbai and Punjab.

The two winning Indian teams will now advance to the Jr. NBA World Championship from Aug. 7-12, 2018 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Florida. This tournament will bring together elite 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world in round-robin competition followed by single-elimination tournaments. The teams will be chosen from winners from eight newly-created USA regional tournaments (Central, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast and West) and international regions (Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe, India, Mexico and South America). Winners of the USA and international brackets will play in the World Championship game on Aug. 12.

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