NEW YORK, Jan. 28 -- For the fourth consecutive season, five boys and five girls selected from more than 600,000 members, have been named to the 2004-05 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA National Team and will be honored guests at the 54th NBA All-Star Game in Denver, the NBA announced today. The showcase event for the National Team will take place on Sunday, February 20, when the squad takes on a team of local Denver Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA All-Stars on Center Court of NBA All-Star Jam Session at the Colorado Convention Center.

The 2004-05 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA National Team presented by Gatorade and Nike recognizes male and female youth basketball players from member leagues throughout the country who are skilled basketball players, great teammates and exemplify good sportsmanship and leadership on the court, in the classroom and in their communities.

“This season, more than 600,000 players are participating in the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program, which makes the accomplishment of being chosen as a member of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA National Team very special for these boys and girls,” said Kathy Behrens, NBA senior vice president, community relations. “We hope this experience is a memorable one, and shows children what they can accomplish with hard work both on and off the court.”

As part of this unique weekend experience, the National Team will travel to Denver on Friday, February 18, to represent the 600,000 boys and girls playing in Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA leagues throughout the United States and abroad. In addition to their exhibition game on Sunday morning, the group will be introduced to a sold-out crowd during All-Star Saturday Night and attend Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.

“There were so many outstanding nominations for the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA National Team, but the winners reflect the best of the program - sportsmanship, teamwork and excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community,” said Elton Brand, Los Angeles Clippers.

Every Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA league director across the country had the opportunity to nominate one boy and one girl, ages 11-12, in their program. Thirty finalists were identified for the National Team by an independent national selection committee made up of Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA officials, NBA and WNBA team representatives, co-presenting sponsors Nike and Gatorade and ESPN commentator and Basketball Hall-of-Famer, Bill Walton. Ten players were then chosen from the finalists.

2004-05 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA National Team Rosters


BOYS
Player Name Age Hometown League NBA/WNBA Affiliation
Jake Lucero 12 Coos Bay, OR B&GC of SW Oregon Portland Trail Blazers
J-Mychal Reese 11 Bryan, TX B&GC of the Brazos Valley Houston Rockets
Cory Reid 12 Port St Lucie, FL City of Port St Lucie Miami HEAT
Malcolm Tatum 11 Hanover, MD Jessup-Provinces Youth Org. Washington Wizards
Calvin Wade 12 Bridgeport, CT Cardinal Shehan Center Connecticut Sun

GIRLS
Player Name Age Hometown League NBA/WNBA Affiliation
Isabel Armendi 12 Englewood Cliffs, NJ Our Lady of Mt Carmel New Jersey Nets
Jordan E. Loera 12 Moses Lake, WA Moses Lake Parks & Rec. Seattle Storm
Kristen Markoe 12 New York, NY New York City PAL New York Knicks/Liberty
Julia Porter 12 Denver, CO Southwest YMCA Denver Nuggets
Ileana Rosalez-Johnson 12 Flagstaff, AZ City of Flagstaff Phoenix Mercury

2005 Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA National Team All-Star Schedule
Friday, Feb. 18
National Team arrives
6:00 p.m. – Welcome reception
8:00 p.m. – National Team attends NBA Welcome Party at Jam Session with Commissioner David Stern

Saturday, February 19
9:00 a.m. – Breakfast with Basketball Hall-of-Famer Bob Lanier
5:00 p.m. – National Team introduced at NBA All-Star Saturday Night

Sunday, February 20
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. – National Team vs. Denver All-Stars on NBA All-Star Jam Session Center Court
5:00 p.m. – National Team attends 2005 NBA All-Star Game

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program provides recreational youth basketball leagues with free access to a variety of valuable membership programs, including an Instructional Curriculum for players, parents, coaches and officials. Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA is endorsed by the Youth Basketball Partnership, made up of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National Recreation and Parks Association, National Police Athletic Leagues, Jewish Community Centers of North America and Basketball Canada. These organizations also support the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA by serving as a communication link to local member leagues.

The NBA and WNBA have named honorary captains that contribute to the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA and encourage positive participation by players, parents and coaches. The cornerstone of the program is the instructional guidebook provided free to all players, parents, coaches and officials from member leagues. The program components have been created by a distinguished group of experts, including nationally-recognized youth sports expert Rick Wolff, nutritionist Dr. Jackie Berning, the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), and the Jr. NBA/ Jr. WNBA Advisory Council, which is made up of Ray Allen (Seattle SuperSonics), Mike Bibby (Sacramento Kings), Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tina Thompson (Houston Comets), Doc Rivers (Head Coach Boston Celtics), Danny Crawford (NBA Official), Lisa Mattingly (WNBA Official), Suzie McConnell Serio (Head Coach Minnesota Lynx) and Bill Walton (Hall-of-Famer and ESPN analyst).