Basketball Without Borders, Europe 2015
Going into the final day of BWB Europe 2015, the morning tipped-off with the league Playoffs that saw the Indiana Pacers led by Pacers Assistant Coach Dan Burke and Pacers forward Damjan Rudez crowed league champions.
Following lunch the All-Star teams were announced. Featuring players from 15 different countries (Belgium, Bosnia, Croatia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Montenegro, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom).
Ultimately, the Blue Team coached by Bryan Gates, Jim Moran and Cody Zeller took the honours defeating the White Team led by Dan Burke, Walter McCarty, Vladimir Radmanovic and Damjan Rudez on a final score of 59-42.
All-Star game MVP: Kevin Cham, France
BWB Europe 2015 Camp MVP: Omer Yurtseven, Turkey
Three-Point Champion: Arnoldas Kulboka, Lithuania
The All- Star awards presentations signalled the official end of the camp and campers left having made new friends and having learnt what basketball can teach both on and off the court.
As Cody Zeller commented, ‘The trip has been great. It is my second BWB having previously taken part in BWB Asia in Taiwan. It has been a great experience for me to get to know some of the other players in the NBA current or former and the NBA coaches and legends. It has been fun to get access to these kids who are amongst the best in Europe and it takes me back a few years to when I was in their shoes trying to achieve my dreams of playing in the NBA.’
BWB Europe Camp Director Marin Sedlacek’s parting words: ‘Play Smart. Act Smart. It is the only way you will succeed and get to the top level.’
Play Smart, Act Smart
Following Lifeskills in the morning, the campers gathered for the daily instructional stations. Led by the NBA Coaches and players, the campers were reminded of the importance of fundamentals with stations focused on positional play, offensive sets and defence.
Following lunch, the campers took to the court to continue league play. The teams were led by:
Boston Celtics – Walter McCarty, Hanno Mottola, Jorge Garbajosa, Richard Petruska
Indiana Pacers – Dan Burke, Damjan Rudez, Vladimir Radmanovic, Daniel Otero and Sergio Salesa
New Orleans Pelicans – Bryan Gates, Cody Zeller, Gerald Henderson, Enzo Esposito and Victor Garcia
Portland Trailblazers – Jim Moran, Ricky Rubio, Amaya Valdemoro, Josh Malone and Berni Hernandez
The competitiveness was on full display not just between campers, but also the NBA coaches who were all vying to lead their teams to victory.
The day ended with a NBA Youth Camp featuring children from the local surrounding area, led by former NBA Assistant Coach Neal Meyer, Ricky Rubio and Jorge Garbajosa.
Day 2 of BWB Europe tipped off here in Gran Canaria with a Lifeskills Session featuring the Hornets’ Cody Zeller and the Pacers Damjan Rudez. The focus was on trust and teamwork, with the campers taking it in turns to be blindfolded and to then avoid stepping on cones/mines based only on instructions from their teammates.
The morning continued with a ‘BWB Combine’ where the campers vital statistics were measured to include standing vertical jump, wingspan etc. With the shortest camper at only 5’5 and the tallest at 7’0 it made for some interesting results.
The campers then took part in positional skills stations focusing in the fundamentals of the game under the watchful eye of the NBA players and coaches
Following lunch the campers broke into their teams (Pelicans, Hornets, Pacers, Celtics and Timberwolves) to continue to progress through competitive games.
Another successful day at BWB!
The 14th edition of Basketball without Borders tipped off today in glorious sunshine on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.
The top 50 young basketball players born in 1998 from 27 European countries converged in Las Palmas for the four-day camp. BWB provides a unique opportunity for the campers to learn directly from NBA players, Legends and coaches and to compete against the best players from Europe.
The day began with a camp orientation session that also featured a Q+A with Ricky Rubio and Gerald Henderson. The lesson of the day: work hard. “You guys are here for a reason,” said Rubio. “But to take it to the next level you have to work hard. You should spend time in the gym not because you have to but because you want to.” He went on to say, “From Day 1, I had a dream of getting to the NBA but I knew that I would have to work harder than the next guy. Learn from all of the great coaches here and make the most of this wonderful opportunity.”
Next on the schedule was a press conference to officially tip-off the event where the participating players, legends and coaches were introduced to the campers, assembled media and guests. The players were led by Gerald Henderson (Charlotte Hornets; United States), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves; Spain), Damjan Rudez (Indiana Pacers; Croatia), and Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets; United States) Vladimir Radmanovic (Serbia) and Hanno Mottola (Finland). The Coaches include Dan Burke (Indiana Pacers), Bryan Gates (New Orleans Pelicans), Walter McCarty (Boston Celtics) and Jim Moran (Portland Trail Blazers). Marin Sedlacek (Philadelphia 76ers) serves as camp director and Jeff Tanaka (Chicago Bulls) will serve as the camp’s athletic trainer.
Following the press conference, the players began some games to enable the NBA coaches to observe and understand better the skill level on display. Following the BWB Draft that takes place later tonight, players will be split into teams for the duration of the camp.
Later in the afternoon, 40 local youth ages 6-18 from, Mensajeros de la Paz, Cruz Roja Espanola-Las Palmas, Galdar, Matilde Tellez, Fundacion Canaria, Margarita Nasseau, Fundacion Diagrama and Fundacion Ideo took part in an NBA Cares basketball clinic led by NBA players and coaches
Basketball without Borders is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that launched in 2001 and is now celebrating its 15th anniversary. The program has since expanded and evolved to become the NBA and FIBA’s signature global grassroots initiative and will this year see camps in Johannesburg, South Africa (July 29-Aug) and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (Aug. 13-16).