Grizzlies, Spurs Reach Championship Game
Posted Jul 1 2003 12:27PM
Basketball Without Borders
TREVISO, Italy, June 30 -- The second day of the Basketball Without Borders camp began with all four teams (Clippers, Jazz, Spurs, Grizzlies) taking part in a Skills and Drills competition. Each of the more than 50 young campers took part in trying to outrun, dribble, and shoot the competing teams.
The camp features San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (France), Memphis Grizzlies forward Pau Gasol (Spain), Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko (Russia) and Los Angeles Clippers forward Marko Jaric (Serbia and Montenegro) as coaches. The three-day camp also features Houston Rockets forward Bostjan Nachbar (Slovenia) and Denver Nuggets forward Nikoloz Tskitishvili (Georgia).
For the first time, the camp brings together 15- to 17-year-olds from across Europe. Since its inception in 2001, Basketball Without Borders has served as a summer camp for young people, designed to promote friendship, goodwill and education through sport.
Parker and Nachbar's Spurs and Kirilenko's Jazz tied with 16 points, while Gasol and Tskitishvili's Grizzlies notched 15 points and Jaric's Clippers ended the morning with nine points.
The afternoon began with a question and answer period between the participants and the NBA players. The players educated the teens about what life is like in the NBA and the importance of maintaining focus on their game and their body to find ultimate success in basketball. The players also discussed their hurdles in acheiving their dreams but emphasized the importance of working hard and staying in great shape. Each of the players took a different path to the NBA, and was able to give that perspective to the campers.
The second day ended with games featuring the winners from the previouis day's games in a matchup and the losers in another. The Grizzlies won their second straight game, defeating the Spurs 60-54. In the other game, the Clippers held off a late charge from the Jazz to win 48-45.
The afternoon's results created a three-way tie for the camp lead with 17 points. The tie-breaker was a three-point shootout, with the teams adding the number of three-pointers hit out of five shots to their score. The Grizzlies (21 camp points) will play the Spurs (19 camp points) in Tuesday's championship game. The consolation game will feature the Jazz and the Clippers.
The Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) selected the young players based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities and dedication to the sport of basketball.
In addition to basketball instruction and competition, the young players share living quarters with their new teammates, eat three meals a day together and participate in a seminar, led by UNICEF intended to promote leadership, support education and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS education and prevention.
The basketball camp returned to La Ghirada in Treviso, Italy, the camp's host in 2001. Owned and operated by co-sponsor United Colors of Benetton, which owns the Treviso basketball team of the Italian league, La Ghirada is the team's state-of-the-art basketball facility, one hour north of Venice.
Basketball Without Borders also marks a significant return for Jaric, Nachbar and Tskitishvili, all of whom played with professional teams in Italy before joining the NBA last season. Jaric played for Kinder Bologna and Nachbar and Tskitishvili were teammates with Benetton Treviso.
The other three NBA players also first started their professional basketball careers in Europe. Gasol played for F.C Barcelona in Spain, Parker spent two years with Paris Basket Racing in France and Kirilenko played with CSKA Moscow in Russia.
The inaugural Basketball Without Borders took place in July 2001, with Vlade Divac of the Sacramento Kings, Toni Kukoc of the Milwaukee Bucks and five other NBA players from the former Yugoslavia uniting to work with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYRO Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia Montenegro.