The National Basketball Association (NBA), in partnership with the Federation of Ugandan Basketball League Association (FUBA), launched a Jr. NBA FUBA League in Kampala. The League will provide boys ages 12-15 and their coaches throughout 30 schools with the opportunity to learn and develop their basketball skills through a competitive league.
The Jr. NBA FUBA League will feature 30 teams from 30 schools across Kampala. The schools will be divided into Eastern and Western Conferences with the top eight teams in each conference qualifying for the playoffs. At the end of the season, a single-elimination playoffs and final will determine the Jr. NBA FUBA League champions.
Each of the schools will represent one of the 30 NBA teams and will receive corresponding NBA team-branded attire for their games, which will span eight weeks from June through August.
The NBA recently launched a similar League in Maputo, Mozambique earlier this month. The League is also played in Senegal and Abuja. Spain, Turkey and UK are among other countries that have the league already running.
The leagues is aimed at promoting core values such as teamwork, discipline, leadership, fitness and healthy living through the games and competition. The boys will be able to get the right basics at a young age. NBA and FUBA agreed to have boys playing first then the girls will come later after the development of the league.
Although, FUBA sighted a challenge of having the schools honoring the fixtures and traveling to other schools, the schools promised to be able to play as many or not all the games.
NBA hopes to grow the sport of Basketball and bring it at a level where fans are able to appreciate the sport. Present at the launch was the Vice President of Uganda H.E Edward Ssekandi who commended the NBA and FUBA for putting together such a competition that would keep the school kids fit and mentally disciplined.
The NBA was represented by Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA Vice President and Managing Director NBA Africa. He promised bigger things for Uganda and that the Jr. NBA FUBA League will run for four years.
Among the schools, notably, were; Lubiri SS as Golden State Warriors, Kibuli SS as Cavaliers, Crane High as Trail Blazers, Kings College Budo as LA LAkers and St. Peters Naalya as Atlanta Hawks.
The first game was played between Utah Jazz (St. Marys Kisubi College) and New orleans Pelicans (Mashariki SS). The New Orleans emerged as winners. The game’s MVP was 14 year old Zayed Bbale from Mashariki High School.