The Irish Jr. NBA Finals were held at the National Basketball Arena on Tuesday, with 30 schools involved. Over 400 children took part in skills, drills and games and they got the chance to meet former Chicago Bulls centre and former Croatia international Dalibor Bagarić, who is a Jr. NBA Ambassador.
This year’s Jr. NBA Finals are the culmination of the Irish Jr. NBA League. Each school was assigned an NBA team and proudly wore their NBA team-branded jerseys. The event also saw some special guests attend the ‘National Festival of Basketball’ - NBA star Bagarić, along with Ireland internationals Sean Flood and Ciara Bracken.
Players take part in 3x3 at the Jr.NBA Finals Day.
Dalibor Bagarić said: "It was a super day at the National Basketball Arena. There is such enthusiasm for basketball in Ireland and it was great working with the children, who really impressed me with their skills and willingness to learn."
The 10 clubs selected for this year’s programme were Clare Panthers, Dublin Raiders, Drogheda Wolves, Kilkenny Stars, Kilkock Tigers, Limerick Lions, Malahide BC, Phoenix Rockets, Tipperary Knights and Tolka Rovers. Each club worked with three local schools, doing coaching and blitz days.
Jr.NBA participants take a break from skills drills.
Jason Killeen, Jr. NBA League Manager for Ireland, said: "It’s been great having Dalibor, our Ireland internationals, as well as a host of top Super League players here to work with the children at the National Basketball Arena. Today’s event is the culmination of a brilliant few months of the Irish Jr. NBA League, which has seen clubs reach out into the community and work with their local schools. Thanks to all the players, coaches, schools and clubs for their participation and effort."
The children even learned about the importance of oral and overall health from dedicated DeCare staff, who are proud partners of the Irish Jr. NBA League.
Maureen Walsh, Managing Director of DeCare Dental, said: “It’s been wonderful to see all the children gathered here at the National Basketball Arena for this event. We’re delighted to be involved with the Irish Jr. NBA League once more. DeCare Dental is excited to continue to support the future stars of basketball as they strive to achieve their goals. DeCare is dedicated to promoting healthy habits and active lifestyles among young athletes, and the Jr. NBA is a perfect platform to do so."
Players look on at DeCareDental's presentation at the National Basketball Arena.