The National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Finnish Basketball Association (FBA) today announced the top 41 boys from 22 European countries who will travel to the first Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe Camp in Finland, which will be held Sept. 7-10 at Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja. BWB, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program, is celebrating its 15th anniversary this summer.
BWB Europe will bring together the top male players born in 1999 from across Europe to learn directly from NBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches, including Cole Aldrich (Minnesota Timberwolves; U.S.), Jerryd Bayless (Philadelphia 76ers; U.S.), Spencer Hawes (Charlotte Hornets; U.S.), Andre Miller (most recently with the San Antonio Spurs; U.S.) and Beno Udrih (Miami Heat; Slovenia). Aldrich, Bayless, Hawes, Miller and Udrih will be joined by former NBA players Vladimir Radmanovic (Serbia) and Ronny Turiaf (France), and by FBA coach Hanno Möttölä, the first Finnish NBA player.
NBA coaches Lionel Hollins (most recently with the Brooklyn Nets), Jamahl Mosley (Dallas Mavericks), Ryan Saunders (Minnesota Timberwolves) and Joe Wolf (most recently with the Brooklyn Nets) will also serve as BWB Europe coaches. Eric Waters (most recently with the Washington Wizards) and Marko Yrjövuori (most recently with the Los Angeles Lakers) will serve as the camp’s athletic trainers, while Marin Sedlacek (Philadelphia 76ers) and Patrick Hunt (President of the World Association of Basketball Coaches) will serve as camp directors.
BWB Europe will also include an elite camp for the top female players from Finland, a Jr. NBA camp for local youth, and NBA Cares community outreach efforts teaching the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle and the values of the game, including teamwork, respect and leadership.
Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with Nike apparel and footwear.
Since 2001, BWB has reached more than 2,500 participants from 131 countries and territories, with 43 campers drafted into the NBA. Twenty-one former BWB campers were on opening-night rosters for the 2015-16 NBA season.
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. Since then, the NBA and FIBA have staged 46 BWB camps in 27 cities across 23 countries on six continents. More than 215 current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players have joined more than 170 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams to support BWB across the world.