Gibson to participate in Basketball Without Borders

Extensive Community Outreach and BWB All-Star Game to herald Basketball without Borders Asia’s inaugural entry into Southeast Asia

Bulls' Gibson to participate in NBA's Basketball Without Borders Asia

Bulls forward Taj Gibson

SINGAPORE, 17 JUNE, 2010 – The Singapore Sports Council (SSC), National Basketball Association (NBA), and International Basketball Federation (FIBA) today gave a sneak peek into the exciting line up of the coming Basketball without Borders (BWB) Asia which will be held in Singapore from 28 June to 1 July 2010. This is the very first time that BWB Asia will be held in South East Asia.

Headlining this edition of BWB Asia will be NBA All-Star Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks) and 2009 NBA Champion Trevor Ariza (Houston Rockets), along with Corey Brewer (Minnesota Timberwolves), Francisco Garcia (Sacramento Kings) and Taj Gibson (Chicago Bulls).

The four-day camp will unite the top 50 young basketball players from 22 countries across Asia to promote basketball and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness. The campers will be selected by the NBA, FIBA and participating federations, including the Basketball Association of Singapore (BAS), and will come together to train under NBA players and coaches, and compete against their peers. The camp will conclude with a BWB All-Star game on 1 July at the Singapore Sports School.

“Bringing Basketball without Borders to Singapore is a great way to tip-off our new partnership with the Singapore Sports Council,” said Scott Levy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NBA Asia. He added, “With the support of our players, coaches and partners, this camp will allow us to further integrate our core values of teamwork, dedication and commitment to giving back to the community here in Singapore.”

Current and former NBA coaches participating in this edition of BWB Asia include coaching legend Gene Keady, Bob McAdoo (Miami Heat), Don Newman (San Antonio Spurs), and Joe Wolf (Milwaukee Bucks). Dean Cooper (Minnesota Timberwolves) will return as the BWB Asia Camp Director with Gregg Farnam (Minnesota Timberwolves) as the camp athletic trainer.

“BWB enables young players to showcase their basketball talents and skills while also learning from some of the very best players and coaches in the world,” said Patrick Bauman, Secretary General, FIBA. “The camp’s community outreach is invaluable in providing young people with all the necessary tools to have a positive impact among their peers and become role models in their communities. We are grateful to the NBA as well as to all the participating national federations in helping make BWB camps possible over the years.”

The NBA players and coaches will also participate in an extensive community outreach programme through NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility initiative. This programme will tip-off with the NBA players leading a Special Olympics basketball clinic at the Singapore American School on 28 June. Special Olympics athletes from across the region will have a chance to showcase their dribbling, passing and shooting skills and to compete in fun skill games.
In partnership with Jamiyah Singapore, the NBA group will visit the Darul Ma’wa (Jamiyah Children’s Home) on 29 June, a voluntary welfare organisation that provides holistic residential care for orphans and children in need. The players will spend time with the children and host a variety of activities including reading books and playing games.

The BWB community outreach programme will culminate on 30 June with an NBA FIT clinic for youths-at-risk at the Singapore American School, hosted in partnership with YMCA Singapore. The NBA will also support YMCA Singapore fitness activities in the days leading up to the event which will encourage children to live healthy and active lifestyles. NBA players will work with community partners to lead daily life-skills sessions for the campers with a focus on HIV/AIDS awareness, led by UNICEF, and character and leadership, led by The Halogen Foundation. The NBA will make donations, such as school supplies, books, clothing and basketball equipment to its community partners.

"We are confident that the inaugural entry of BWB Asia in South East Asia through Singapore will inspire not only A Sporting Singapore but also the next generation of athletes to raise the Singapore flag high,” said Bob Gambardella, Chief of Sports Development Group and Singapore Sports Institute, Singapore Sports Council. He added, “We will be able to unearth a wealth of knowledge and best practices from the NBA and the many regional-class youth basketball players coming to Singapore. This will raise the professionalism and technical proficiency of our basketball coaches and players.”

BWB is being brought to Singapore as part of an on-going partnership between the NBA and the SSC to tap the growing popularity of basketball in Singapore and to promote a healthy and active lifestyle to youth throughout the country. Partnership elements also include a Chalk Talk on off-court coaching issues, a school visit by an NBA player and a community basketball event which will all take place around BWB Asia.

BWB Asia will feature Nike, The Fullerton Hotel, 100PLUS and StarHub as marketing partners, and Spalding as official supplier. A BWB marketing partner since 2002, Nike will again outfit all the camp participants and coaches with Nike footwear and apparel.

“Basketball without Borders teaches young basketball players the importance of hard work, dedication, teamwork and sportsmanship,” said Lynn Merritt, Vice President, Global Basketball Sports Marketing. “These are all crucial to the future successes of these young campers both on and off the court, and we are proud to be working with the NBA and FIBA to promote these values.”