Featured image by Tomah Kennedy
Great news. On Thursday April 12, Liberia became one of the newest African countries in the Jr. NBA International program. The international program lists 12 active African countries on its webpage, which makes Liberia, at least, its 13th. President Weah graced the special occasion along with local residents and members of the basketball community .
Jr. NBA teaches young athletes fundamental basketball skills while instilling its core philosophies — FUNdamentals, hard work, respect, sportsmanship, teamwork and healthy living. Jr. NBA Liberia will develop basketball skills in boys and girls ages 6 to 18. The new sports program will also groom the youth for a successful future in basketball and beyond.
HOW IT WILL WORK
According to an interview with Liberia Sports Online, the Jr. NBA Liberia league will host 250 games during its first season. Several communities and schools will make up the teams with each team modeling itself after a professional NBA team. If managed correctly, this program can have a significant impact on basketball in Liberia.
At least two Liberians currently play in the NBA and its women’s league. USA-born Noah Vonleh, whose family comes from Nimba county, plays for the Chicago Bulls as a power forward. Liberian-born point guard Matee Ajavon plays for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream and owns Ajavon Elite, a pre management company for basketball players.
Jr. NBA Liberia has the potential to not only transform the game in Liberia, but grant young athletes a brighter future.