NEW YORK, BELGRADE, MIES -- The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Basketball Federation of Serbia today announced that the 17th edition of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Europe will be held Aug. 15 – 18 at Zarkovo Sports Hall in Belgrade, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Serbia.
BWB Europe 2018 will bring together the top male and female players ages 17 and under from throughout Europe to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the region.
The first-ever Basketball Without Borders camp took place in Europe in July 2001. Vlade Divac (Serbia) and Toni Kukoc (Croatia), together with former teammates from the Yugoslav national team, reunited to work with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia and Montenegro at La Ghirada in Treviso, Italy.
“We’re very pleased to bring the Basketball Without Borders program to Serbia for the very first time,” said FIBA National Federations & Sport Director, Zoran Radovic. “Belgrade lives and breathes basketball and the country as a whole boasts a wealth of talented young players. We look forward to teaming up with the NBA and the Basketball Federation of Serbia to put the top boys and girls from across Europe through their paces.”
“The Basketball Federation of Serbia is thrilled to host BWB Europe 2018,” said Basketball Federation of Serbia Secretary General Dejan Tomasevic. “We would like to express our gratitude to our friends at FIBA and the NBA for making this event possible. Our country has given many talents to European and American basketball; hence we consider this honor well deserved. As Secretary General of the Basketball Federation of Serbia, but also as a former player, I know what this will mean to the kids who will participate in the camp. The experience of the coaches and players, the enthusiasm of the hosts combined with the immense amount of love and passion for this wonderful sport will altogether make this a unique experience for the young talent. We are looking forward to seeing some old faces and truly delighted to meet new friends. Belgrade will once again prove itself trustworthy in terms of organization and we are certain everyone will have a great time. Dear friends, welcome and enjoy!”
“Hosting Basketball Without Borders in Belgrade is symbolic for the NBA since the first BWB camp brought together 50 young men from Eastern Europe more than 15 years ago,” said NBA Senior Vice President, International Basketball Operations, Kim Bohuny. “The region has a deep connection to and history with the sport of basketball, and the level of talent in the region and throughout Europe is at an all-time high. We look forward to providing the top young players on the continent with an opportunity to learn from and compete against one another.”
BWB Europe 2018 will feature a number of current and former NBA players including Nemanja Bjelica (Minnesota Timberwolves, Serbia); Bogdan Bogdanovic (Sacramento Kings, Serbia); Gary Harris (Denver Nuggets, USA); Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets, Serbia) and Frank Kaminsky (Charlotte Hornets, USA/Serbia). Vlade Divac (Sacramento Kings, Serbia) and Peja Stojakovic (Sacramento Kings, Serbia) who both took part in the inaugural 2001 BWB Europe camp will also attend, with additional players, former players to be announced.
NBA Coaches Popeye Jones (Indiana Pacers, USA); Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs, USA) and Jacque Vaughn (Brooklyn Nets, USA) will serve as BWB Europe coaches with additional coaches and coaching staff to be announced. Marin Sedlacek (Philadelphia 76ers, Serbia) and Patrick Hunt (President of the World Association of Basketball Coaches) will serve as camp directors.
BWB Europe 2018 will also include NBA Cares community outreach efforts with youth in Belgrade, including packing and delivering care packages to young people dealing with illnesses.
Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with Nike apparel and footwear.
BWB has reached more than 3,200 participants from 127 countries and territories since 2001, with more than 55 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents. A record 24 former BWB campers were on opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season, including Milos Teodosic (LA Clippers; Serbia; BWB Europe 2001).
The NBA and FIBA have staged 54 BWB camps in 34 cities across 27 countries on six continents. More than 260 current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players have joined more than 200 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams to support BWB across the world.
Follow BWB using the hashtag #BWBEurope on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
BWB Asia 2018 was held in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), India from May 30 – June 2. BWB Africa 2018 will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from Aug. 1 – 4.