317 youth players tip off 2018 Jr. NBA World Championship

Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos
All 317 youth players marched into HP Fieldhouse at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex yesterday morning for Jr. NBA World Championship Tip-Off Ceremony. The players and coaches were joined by WNBA President Lisa Borders, NBA All-Star Andre Drummond and former WNBA player Jennifer Azzi. Lisa Borders opened the ceremony with remarks to the kids and teams about their achievements and the NBA’s excitement for the week ahead. The youth players then participated in a Q&A with Drummond and Azzi and asked questions about favorite players, role models, advice and proudest moments. Then the real fun started:
The kids participated in a dance contest, in which Team India boys player Bhavik Garg was crowned champion and stole the show with his signature move.
Players from each team were then selected to participate in a global game of knockout, which was won by Asia Pacific boys player Harrison Stones.
Andre Drummond then lead the youth players in a massive #InMyFeelingsChallenge to celebrate the start of the Jr. NBA World Championship. A few media outlets took notice: Sports Illustrated, USA Today FTW, BarDown
Following the ceremonial “first basket,” the players participated in a celebratory parade at Magic Kingdom Park, where they were cheered on by family, friends and spectators in front of the iconic Magic Kingdom Castle.
The inaugural Jr. NBA World Championship will bring together the top 32 boys and girls teams (16 U.S. and 16 international) that advanced from regional competitions or were selected from Jr. NBA Leagues, camps and clinics earlier this year. The 16 international teams (eight boys and eight girls teams) represent Africa and Middle East, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe, India, Mexico and South America.

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