JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 24, 2022/ — 12th year of Royal Bafokeng jr. NBA programme will reach more than 20,000 boys and girls from 44 schools across the Royal Bafokeng Nation and Greater Rustenburg region; Programme has reached more than 100,000 youth since 2011 through basketball development and youth engagement initiatives.

NBA Africa and the Royal Bafokeng Nation, through its sports development arm Royal Bafokeng Sports (RBS), today announced an expansion of their long-term youth development partnership.

The expanded partnership will see the 12th year of the Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme reach more than 20,000 boys and girls from 44 schools across the Royal Bafokeng Nation and Greater Rustenburg Region in South Africa.

The Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme, which launched in 2011 with 36 boys and girls teams from 18 middle and high schools across all five regions of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, has reached more than 100,000 youth over the past 12 years through basketball development and youth engagement initiatives. The programme features a youth basketball league for boys and girls in primary and high schools, elite development camps for the top 50 boys and girls in the programme, monthly clinics and camps, coaching clinics and certification programmes, and basketball court refurbishments.

“Basketball has been much more than a sport among the Bafokeng youth,” said Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, the 36th king of the Royal Bafokeng Nation. “Through the support of the NBA and RBS, the programme has helped develop and inspire top athletes and coaching staffs, create educational opportunities, and grow the sport not only for the RBN community, but across the continent. The RBN welcomes the continued partnership and success with the NBA.”

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“Launched more than 10 years ago, the Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme was the NBA’s first youth development programme on the continent,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams. “We are excited to expand our partnership with RBS and look forward to continuing to use the transformative power of basketball to inspire more boys and girls in the North West Province in the years to come.”

The Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme is the league’s largest Jr. NBA programme in Africa and has achieved a number of milestones since its launch in 2011. More than 120 youth and 15 coaches from the programme have represented the North West Province in national tournaments.

Six girls and two boys went on to represent South Africa in international tournaments at the youth and senior levels, and two girls and two coaches participated in the Jr. NBA Global Championships in Orlando, Fla., in 2018 and 2019. In addition, more than 100 former participants have gone on to study at universities and colleges in South Africa, with two alumni receiving full scholarships to high schools and universities in the United States.

In August 2017, the programme hosted the first Jr. NBA Africa Festival, which featured Jr. NBA teams from Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe competing against one another and participating in life-skills programming in the lead-up to the NBA Africa Game 2017. That same year, the programme was recognised with the Development Programme of the Year Award at the Sport Industry Awards in South Africa.

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The Royal Bafokeng Nation has an ambitious and aggressive strategy over the next few years to place sports, education, and elite sporting academies at the forefront of the Nation’s vision of diversification, sustainability and social cohesion, which the NBA and RBS play a critical role in delivering.

The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg in 2010. Since then, the league’s efforts on the continent have focused on increasing access to basketball and the NBA through social responsibility, grassroots and elite development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games, the launch of the Basketball Africa League (BAL), and more. The BAL’s second season tipped off earlier this month in Dakar, Senegal. South Africa’s Cape Town Tigers will make their BAL debut during the league’s Nile Conference group phase at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo, Egypt, from April 9-19.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Basketball Association (NBA).

About the NBA:
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a global sports and media organization with the mission to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball. Built around five professional sports leagues: the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League, the NBA has established a major international presence with games and programming available in 215 countries and territories in more than 50 languages, and merchandise for sale in more than 200 countries and territories on all seven continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2021-22 season featured a record 121 international players from 40 countries.

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NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and NBA League Pass. The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with 2.1 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.

About Royal Bafokeng Nation:
The Royal Bafokeng Nation is a traditionally governed community of approximately 150,000 people living in 29 villages in the North West province of South Africa, just 90 minutes outside of Johannesburg. The RBN through its various entities and development programmes aims to improve the living conditions of the people and build a relevant and innovative traditional community despite an ever-evolving world.

About Royal Bafokeng Sport:
Royal Bafokeng Sport is a public benefit organisation, that was founded in 2004 with the vision to develop, empower and uplift the Royal Bafokeng Nation through sports. RBS coordinates and cultivates sports activities for youth and athletes across various sporting codes including netball, basketball, rugby, soccer, martial arts, and athletics.

With a focus on identifying and nurturing sporting talent, the RBS trains and manages youth, professional athletes, and coaching staff. RBS has, over the years, produced professionals that have represented the country at the World Championships, the Commonwealth Games, and the Olympic Games. RBS is working towards building a sustainable sporting ecosystem that is able to create jobs, generate revenue and transform the RBN into a leading sports hub on the continent.

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