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NCAA, NBA join forces to form iHoops, a youth initiative

By Official release
Posted Jun 9 2009 8:49PM

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NCAA and NBA have named their joint youth basketball initiative iHoops, Kevin Weiberg, iHoops CEO and Duke University men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski announced at a press conference prior to Game 3 of The Finals.



iHoops.com

Nike and adidas will serve as founding partners for the initiative, and adidas vice president of global basketball Lawrence Norman and Nike vice president of global sports marketing John Slusher were on hand to participate in the announcement.

The NCAA and NBA established iHoops to provide a structure and to develop programs to improve the quality of youth basketball in order to enhance the athletic, educational and social experience of the participants.

"With today's announcement, we have laid a very solid foundation for achieving our goal to improve the environment in youth basketball for boys and girls, parents, coaches and officials," said Weiberg. "We are pleased to have adidas and Nike join as iHoops founding partners, collaborate with the key stakeholders in American basketball, and support the efforts for the long-term good of the game."

Board members for the iHoops initiative include Krzyzewski, NCAA senior vice president of basketball and business strategies Greg Shaheen, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Stu Jackson, NBA executive vice president of social responsibility and player programs Kathy Behrens and attorney and college basketball television analyst Len Elmore.

"iHoops is a positive response to the need for basketball's key stakeholders to take a more unified approach to youth basketball," said Krzyzewski. "I am proud to be a part of the iHoops initiative to support those who play the game and to ensure that we have a system that puts the kids' well-being first."

iHoops will provide supporting services and programs for youth basketball players ages 6 to 18, their parents, coaches, officials and team and event administrators.

Active.com (a division of The Active Network, Inc.) is the technology provider for iHoops.com and will operate the site, which will launch this fall. iHoops.com, set to become the premier youth basketball online community and network in the U.S. and Canada, will facilitate communication and be an essential resource for players, coaches, officials, parents and youth teams at all levels. iHoops.com will provide skill-training curriculum, certification programs for coaches and officials and the opportunity to register for events, tournaments and programs. In addition, the site will feature instructional videos, player profiles and highlights from tournaments.

The addition of adidas and Nike as founding partners supports the initiative's goal to create a coalition of key stakeholders including USA Basketball, the Amateur Athletic Union, the National Federation of State High Schools and its member associations, the major coaches associations and other organizations that sponsor or support youth basketball programs.

"We are excited to partner with the NBA and NCAA in bringing this program to life," said Norman. "This partnership is a part of our continued focus on growing the sport by developing youth basketball in the US."

"Commitment to sport and providing inspiration to athletes is at our core," said Slusher. "As a founding partner of iHoops, we are excited to play a vital role in such a groundbreaking program that will enhance the quality of youth basketball on and off the court."

With basketball currently the No. 1 U.S. participatory team sport, with 23 million American boys and girls playing the game, iHoops provides a renewed emphasis on the health and safety of youth basketball participants. The initiative's online community and network of events will play a vital role in the game's continued growth.

About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.

About the NBA
The NBA, founded in 1946, is a global sports and entertainment brand that features 30 teams in the United States and Canada. During the 2008-09 season, NBA games reached 215 countries and territories in 41 languages. The league's worldwide reach was also reflected in the 77 international players from 33 countries and territories on NBA rosters. NBA merchandise is sold in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. NBA.com averages more than five million daily visits, with more than 50 percent of the site's visitors from outside of North America. Through NBA Cares, the league, its teams and players have donated more than $105 million to charity, provided more than 950,000 hours of hands-on service to communities around the world and created more than 415 places where kids and families can live, learn or play.

About adidas
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around three core segments: adidas, Reebok and TaylorMade-adidas. adidas has been providing innovative products for the world's best athletes for more than 50 years, from past legends to today's superstars, such as Dwight Howard, Candace Parker, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. On April 11, 2006 adidas and the National Basketball Association signed an 11-year global merchandising partnership making the adidas brand the official uniform and apparel provider for the NBA, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the NBA Development League (D-League) beginning with the 2006-07 NBA season.

About NIKE, Inc.
NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned Nike subsidiaries include Cole Haan, which designs, markets and distributes luxury shoes, handbags, accessories and coats; Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories; Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes action sports and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Umbro Ltd., a leading United Kingdom-based global football (soccer) brand. For more information, visit www.nikebiz.com.

About Active.com
Active.com is the leading online community for people who want to discover, learn about, share, register for and ultimately participate in activities about which they are passionate. Millions of active individuals visit Active.com each month to search and register online for races, team sports and recreational activities; interact with others who have similar interests; start online training programs; and access nutrition, fitness and training tips.

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