NEW YORK/MIES/TEL AVIV - The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Israel Basketball Association on Wednesday announced that the 16th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe will be held August 13-16 at The Wingate Institute in Netanya, Israel, marking the first time that the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Israel.
BWB has reached more than 2,720 participants from 134 countries and territories since 2001, with 43 campers drafted into the NBA. Twenty-three former BWB campers, including 13 former BWB Europe campers, were on opening-night rosters for the 2016-17 season including Omri Casspi (Minnesota Timberwolves; Israel; BWB Europe 2005), Danilo Gallinari (Denver Nuggets; Italy; BWB Europe 2003) and Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies; Spain; BWB Europe 2003).
The first-ever Basketball without Borders camp took place in Europe in July 2001. Vlade Divac (Serbia) and Toni Kukoc (Croatia), together with former teammates from the Yugoslav national team, reunited to work with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia and Montenegro at La Ghirada in Treviso, Italy. The NBA and FIBA have staged 49 BWB camps in 30 cities across 25 countries on six continents. More than 230 current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players have joined more than 185 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams to support BWB across the world.
NBA Vice President, International Basketball Operations & Head of Elite Basketball, Brooks Meek: "Hosting BWB in Israel will allow the NBA and FIBA to use basketball and the values of the game, including teamwork, integrity and respect, to bring together youth and community organizations from a variety of backgrounds and foster cultural understanding. We’re looking forward to welcoming Europe’s top male and female prospects to Israel in August."
FIBA National Federations & Sport Director Zoran Radovic: "We are extremely happy that Israel will host Basketball without Borders Europe for the first time, and we are confident this will enhance the development of young players in Israel. Hosting Basketball without Borders in August and then hosting the Group Phase of FIBA EuroBasket 2017 in September will make for two very exciting basketball months in Israel as well as put a focus on European and local basketball heroes. We look forward to having another very successful Basketball without Borders camp and wish to thank Israel’s basketball community for all the help and efforts in staging the camp."
Israel Basketball Association: "The Israel Basketball Association is excited to cooperate with the NBA and FIBA on this great Basketball without Borders program. We are proud that Israel was chosen to host the event and for the opportunity to become a part of this wonderful basketball tradition. With the NBA and FIBA we will work to make sure Europe's top male and female players will experience Israel and the event in the best way."
Minnesota Timberwolves forward and Israel international Omri Casspi: "Basketball without Borders is an amazing program, and I'm fortunate that I was able to participate as a camper in 2005. It's great to see the NBA and FIBA recognize Israel's basketball development efforts by hosting the camp there for the first time. I look forward to working with Europe's top male and female players and showing them the beauty and culture of my home country."