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Glut of stars to grace Jr. NBA Global Championship tip-off ceremony

A glut of stars including 2019 NBA Champion Danny Green, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon and Orlando Magic legend Dennis Scott will grace the tip-off ceremony of the second Jr. NBA Global Championship hosted by National Basketball Association (NBA) on Sunday.
Glut of stars to grace Jr. NBA Global Championship tip-off ceremony

The meet, a youth basketball tournament for the top 13 and 14-year-old boys and girls' teams from around the world, will take place from August 6 to 11 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.

The event will open with a tip-off ceremony for the 32 participating teams, led by 2019 NBA Champion Green, Gordon, Scott, Olympic Gold Medalist Jennifer Azzi, former NBA players Jason Collins and Pops Mensah-Bonsu and G League President Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

This will be the first time that all 316 youth players are together as the 32 teams will parade into HP Field House behind their region's banner.

Following welcome remarks, interactive activities and the ceremonial "first basket," teams will visit Magic Kingdom.

"I hope you take this the right way when I say this: Because of social media, we had no idea what it was like to play international basketball until we got the opportunity to play international basketball," NBA legend Vince Carter said when asked whether, growing up he would have liked a competition like this where kids from around the world take part.

"I'm thinking about the Dirk Nowitzkis of my time. Obviously, growing up until the social media boom I think now the cool thing about it is you will hear about a kid from a different part of the world, and you would have seen him or you can Google him or YouTube their highlights now.

"So I think for us, we didn't understand how big this could be. Obviously, it's a great opportunity. Our goal was just like, hey, hopefully I can play on the Junior Olympic team and we get the opportunity there. So not only now can you play on a Junior Olympic team, but you get to play in something like this with your own team and still kind of get the Junior Olympic feel.

"I think this is a great opportunity. With all these great tournaments and the opportunities that come to these kids now, I think the older generation is now like, man, we didn't have that. I wish we had this. It would have been great to see," the 42-year old eight-time NBA All-Star.

Carter, YES Network's lead Brooklyn Nets game analyst Sarah Kustok and college basketball analyst Donny Marshall will provide commentary for FOX for the second consecutive year.

Supported by long-time league partners FIBA and USA Basketball, the event will bring together the top 32 boys and girls' teams (16 U.S. and 16 international) that advanced from regional competitions earlier this year that collectively reached more than 15,000 youth from 75 countries.

The 16 international teams (eight boys and eight girls teams) represent Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada, China, Europe & Middle East, India, Latin America and Mexico.

( With inputs from IANS )

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