First ever BWB Asia in Tokyo, Japan ends on a high
The final day of BWB Asia saw a full house pack into The American School in Japan for the day’s activities which started off with a girls’ clinic. The players and coaches also conducted a clinic for about 80 Special Olympic athletes before the main event commenced.
Students, parents, guests and media soaked in the excitement of the All Star game which started out with the white team taking a wide lead before the red team tried to pull it back in the last quarter. The white team proved too much in the end and won, never giving up their lead.
The Sportsmanship Award for BWB Asia went to Rashleigh-Paolo Rivero from the Philippines who showed his great attitude running cross court to help an opponent from another team up to his feet. The All-Star MVP went to Korea’s Gibeom Cheon and the most prestigious award of BWB Asia, the camp MVP, went to Japan’s own Yuki Togashi.
Rounding up the inaugural BWB Asia in Tokyo, Japan was a farewell reception for campers and guests where Scott Levy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for NBA Asia thanked partners, guests and media for all their support in making the event such a success and to look ahead for more NBA activities in the country.
Midway through BWB Asia, talent shines on the court
The camp kicked into high gear with a Life Skills Seminar led by Rolando Blackman and Denver Nugget’s Corey Brewer, and a morning skills station. Later in the afternoon, 3on3 games, situational drills and team games continued ahead of the selection for the weekend’s All Star game at the American International School.
The evening saw the players and coaches make an appearance at the Take 2 NBA Finals Viewing Party where they met with fans, analyzed the match ups and gave away lucky draw prizes. It was a great night for the 180 fans that paid to come to the event and a once in a lifetime chance to meet with the NBA stars.
From the Court to the Mats, BWB Asia Rolls Through Day 2
The second day of BWB Asia started with a special treat for the NBA players and coaches: a visit to the famous Sumo Doujo facility “Takanohana Beya” where they observed a practice session between the team of sumo wrestlers including Takanoiwa who is currently one of the most famous athletes in the sport, boasting a career record of 80 wins to 42 losses and 1 championship.
Sumo wrestling originated in Japan and is the only country where it is practiced professionally. The sport dates back centuries to the Edo period in Japan and is considered a form of modern Japanese martial art.
The Takanohana Beya is run by legendary sumo wrestler and Stable Master Takanohana Koji. Koji won 22 tournament championships in his career, recording the fifth highest total in the sport. He was also the youngest ever to reach the top division at just 17 years of age.
Following the practice session which is rarely open to any guests, the players and coaches got a chance to meet with the stable master himself and the team of sumo wrestlers.
Dikembe Mutombo commented on his experience and impression of the sport. “This is something I will never forget. I didn’t think they were that strong. I used to think that all they did was eat but watching them practice today, made me change my mind. I realize how amazing they are. I cannot imagine myself practicing for 5 hours having someone beat me up like that, it was incredible.” Back at the National Training Centre, Samuel Dalembet and Lloyd Pierce led the day’s Life Skills seminar for the campers and the camp got underway with fundamental skills development followed by 3on3 games. The NBA players also conducted an NBA FIT clinic for students of Keio Jr. High School later that afternoon. FIBA then held a coaching clinic in the evening for about 50 local coaches where they learnt best practices and got tips on how to improve their coaching skills.
BWB Asia 2012 continues at the National Training Centre tomorrow. On Saturday, it moves to the American International School where a Special Olympics clinic will be held followed by the All-Star Game.
Campers, NBA Players and Coaches Hit the Court
The campers got their first interaction with the NBA Players and Coaches in town for the 2012 Basketball without Borders Asia which officially began today, June 13. 50 campers from 18 countries in Asia arrived at the National Training Centre this morning and received basketball instruction from NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, NBA players Samuel Dalembert and Corey Brrewer, former NBA player and local legend Yuta Tabuse. NBA Coaches included Lloyd Pierce, James Borrego, Rolando Blackman and Dave Hopla.
The local media also got to speak with the NBA players and coaches ahead of the camp and were quick to grab their chance to interview them at the opening press conference.
Kim Bohuny, SVP for Basketball Operations – International, commented on how the 2012 BWB Asia arrived in Asia, “We would not have been able to make this possible without the help and commitment of partners to make this happen. Nike, our global sponsor who have supported us over the years to run this program globally, Xebio Group, our new partner in Japan, who have played an integral role in organizing the event, FIBA and the JBA for working with us to run this year’s BWB Asia program and other partners Take 2, Pocari Sweat, Spalding, United Sports Foundation, NHK, WOWOW, Platinum Deli Syle and Grand Hyatt.
The 2012 BWB Asia continues at the National Training Centre tomorrow and Friday. On Saturday, it moves to the American International School where a Special Olympics clinic will be held followed by the All-Star Game.
Basketball without Borders Asia Tips Off
The 2012 Basketball without Borders Asia tipped off today in Japan with an NBA Cares event. In support of rebuilding efforts, NBA Players and Coaches travelled to the Sendai coastal region to tour the existing damage from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The Mayor of Shichigahama spoke about ongoing efforts to rebuild the community and the NBA Players and Coaches conducted a NBA Cares basketball clinic for 100 students from Shiogama Daisan Jr. High School. Approximately 40% of the school’s students were directly affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.
“It is sad that the people in this community had to go through this disaster,” said Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Global Ambassador. “But I see the hope in their eyes and how they have really put in the effort to rebuild and put things back together. I wish them the best and am touched by their spirits.”
NBA, TOMODACHI, and United Sports Foundation to hold basketball clinic for Tohoku youth as part of Basketball without Borders Asia
-- Clinic Will Support Youth Affected by the March 11 Disasters and feature NBA Players and Legends --
Sendai, June 8, 2012 - The National Basketball Association (NBA), TOMODACHI, and the United Sports Foundation (USF) announced today that they will hold a basketball clinic as part of Basketball without Borders Asia for boys and girls from areas heavily affected by the tragic, multi-dimensional disasters that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.
The clinic will take place at Shiogama Daisan Junior High School in Miyagi Prefecture, where the children will receive encouragement and coaching from NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, and NBA players Corey Brewer (Denver Nuggets), Samuel Dalembert (Houston Rockets), Vladimir Radmanovic (Atlanta Hawks) and Japan’s Yuta Tabuse (former NBA player).
“It is such an honor to be able to give back to the community and especially to one that has recently been through such a terrible disaster,” said Dalembert. “I am excited to use the game of basketball to do whatever we can to make these kids happy and to give them hope for the future.”
The TOMODACHI Initiative supports ongoing recovery efforts and invests in the young people of Japan and America. Through sports partnerships with organizations like the NBA, TOMODACHI provides gateways for Japanese and Americans to develop enduring friendships and interest in each other’s cultures, while also helping the young people of Tohoku.
With generous support from the NBA, TOMODACHI is also sponsoring a rare opportunity for Tohoku boys and girls to attend a 2.5-day NBA Youth Camp in Tokyo from June 15 – 17. Attending the camp in Tokyo are kids from the town of Minamisoma, which has faced challenges brought about by the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear situation.
“Part of the NBA’s mission is to be actively involved in improving the quality of life in communities and addressing important social issues,” said Scott Levy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of NBA Asia. “We look forward to bringing smiles to these children’s faces and to the continual support of the local community through Basketball without Borders.”
First held in 2001, Basketball without Borders is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program that uses the sport to create positive social change in the areas of education and health and wellness. Basketball without Borders Asia, which is being held in Japan for the first time, will take place June 13 – 16 in Tokyo. BWB features top youth players from each region, as selected by the NBA and FIBA, training under NBA players and coaches. Campers receive top-level instruction on-court and participate in daily life-skills seminars focused on values of the game such as leadership, character development, and living a healthy lifestyle. Through NBA Cares, the NBA players and coaches also participate in extensive community outreach efforts highlighted by the creation of places for children and families to live, learn or play including new technology centers, libraries and basketball courts.
Additional information on the TOMODACHI Initiative can be found at: www.usjapantomodachi.org
TOMODACHI is a public-private partnership, led by the United States Government and the U.S.-Japan Council and supported by the Japanese Government, that supports Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties and deepen the friendship between the United States and Japan over the long-term.
NBA Cares is the league's social responsibility program that builds on the NBA's long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated more than $190 million to charity, completed more than 1.9 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 700 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, in 22 countries and territories on five continents. In addition, this year the league launched the NBA Cares Community Caravan, a year-round community and fan engagement program, through which the NBA family will reach more than 10,000 schools and community centers and touch the lives of more than 15 million fans. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
United Sports Foundation (USF), based in Tokyo, Japan was created in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake as relief efforts made by many athletes, sports organizations and corporations demonstrated the power of sport to raise people’s spirits, create opportunities for much needed exercise and giving people hope. Following the motto “One World, One Team,” USF hopes to contribute to a healthier world through sports. http://unitedsportsfoundation.org/
NBA Players and Coaches to Lead First-Ever Basketball Without Borders in Japan
- Camp highlights include NBA Cares events in Sendai for children affected by the 2011 earthquake and elite basketball instruction for top 50 players from Asia -
TOKYO, JAPAN – May 31, 2012 – NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, Samuel Dalembert (Houston Rockets), Vladimir Radmanovic (Atlanta Hawks), Corey Brewer (Denver Nuggets) and Japan’s Yuta Tabuse (former NBA player) will headline Basketball without Borders (BWB) Asia, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and Japan Basketball Association (JBA) announced today. Xebio Group will serve as the Official Co-Organizer of the Asian edition of the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program which will be held in Tokyo, Japan for the first time from June 13-16.
In addition to on-court instruction, the NBA players and coaches participate in extensive community outreach through NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility initiative. BWB Asia community activities will include a visit to the Sendai area where the group will conduct a basketball and fitness clinic for children affected by the March 11 disaster in partnership with United Sports Foundation and the TOMODACHI Initiative. Other NBA Cares events include a clinic for Special Olympics athletes.
“We are thrilled to bring the first ever Basketball without Borders program to Japan, where the NBA has had a long history,” said Scott Levy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director for NBA Asia. “Xebio Group is the perfect partner for us to work with for both BWB and the community support activities we are conducting in the country, and we look forward to a long term relationship with them bringing more basketball activities to Japan.”
The four-day camp will unite the top 50 young basketball players from 18 countries across Asia, including five from Japan, to promote basketball and encourage positive social change in the areas of education and health and wellness. Selected by FIBA, the NBA, and participating federations, the campers will train under NBA players and coaches and compete against their peers. Campers will be divided into mixed-nationality teams to promote diversity and camaraderie. The campers will also participate in daily life skills sessions, in which NBA players and legends will speak about the importance of education, leadership, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
"I am delighted to see that Basketball without Borders will be making a first-time visit to Japan this year," said Patrick Baumann, Secretary General of FIBA and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). "As we all know, 2011 was a very painful year for Japan and they are on a road to recovery. Hopefully by holding a camp there and holding clinics for the children affected by the disasters, we can provide them with some joy and put some smiles on their faces."
NBA coaches in attendance include Lloyd Pierce (Memphis Grizzlies), James Borrego (New Orleans Hornets), Rolando Blackman (formerly from Dallas Mavericks) and shooting coach Dave Hopla. Dean Cooper returns as the BWB Asia Camp Director with Koichi Sato (Washington Wizards) joining as camp athletic trainer.
Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will again outfit the campers and coaches of the camp with Nike apparel and footwear.
“Basketball without Borders not only provides top level basketball instruction, but also teaches characteristics that are key to success in life such as hard work, dedication, teamwork, and sportsmanship,” said Lynn Merritt, Vice President, Global Basketball Sports Marketing, Nike. “We are proud to continue to work with the NBA and FIBA who share our commitment to developing talent around the world.”
BWB Asia will take place at the National Training Center, with the All-Star Game taking place at The American School in Japan on the last day. Co-organized by the NBA, Xebio Group and FIBA, this year’s camp features Nike as presenting partner, Take 2 as official partner, NHK and WOWOW as official media partners and Pocari Sweat, Spalding, Grand Hyatt, United Sports Foundation and Platinum Deli Style as official suppliers.
Takaaki Nakamura, Managing Executive Officer for Xebio Group and Chief Executive Officer for X Sports Marketing Inc. added, “On behalf of Xebio Group I would like to extend a warm welcome to everyone involved with Basketball without Borders. This is more than just a great opportunity to showcase the top players in Asia, but also for the Xebio Group to contribute to the worldwide basketball community and establish a long term relationship with the NBA.”
Since its inaugural year in 2001, 30 BWB camps have taken place in 17 cities and 15 countries on five continents. BWB has hosted more than 1,500 participants from more than 100 countries and territories and featured more than 130 different current and former NBA/WNBA players, coaches, and employees from all 30 NBA teams, with 21 BWB campers drafted into the NBA. Other BWB camps this year will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from Aug 30 – Sept 2 and in Moscow, Russia from Sept 16 – 19.