The National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a series of basketball development and social impact programming for youth, coaches and basketball stakeholders that will be hosted in collaboration with the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 presented by ADQ.
The week of activities, which will be highlighted by the return of Jr. NBA Week to Abu Dhabi following its debut in 2022, will run from Monday, Oct. 2 – Sunday, Oct. 8 and reach more than 2,500 youth and 250 coaches from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and across the Middle East and Europe.
Jr. NBA Week will feature youth clinics and basketball development programming focused on teaching the game, promoting health and wellness, and empowering the next generation of players, coaches and referees, and will feature appearances by Mavericks and Timberwolves players and coaches, NBA and WNBA legends, and USA Basketball Youth & Sport Development coach director Don Showalter.
The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 presented by ADQ will feature the Mavericks and the Timberwolves playing two preseason games at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. GST. Tickets for the games are on sale at etihadarena.ae and ticketmaster.ae.
Special ticket packages offering premium access, VIP experiences, hospitality and local hotel accommodations are also available for purchase at https://nbaexperiences.com/nba-abu-dhabi-games-2023. Tickets for “NBA Fan Appreciation Day in Abu Dhabi” on Oct. 6 at Etihad Arena and NBA District from Oct. 5-8 at Manarat Al Saadiyat are also on sale at ticketmaster.ae.
The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 presented by ADQ follow last year’s preseason games between the Atlanta Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks, which marked the league’s first games in the Arabian Gulf. In January, the NBA and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) launched an expanded second season of the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League, featuring boys’ and girls’ leagues each composed of 450 players ages 11-14 from schools across the UAE capital.
The collaboration also includes a variety of interactive fan events featuring appearances by current and former NBA players, a series of NBA FIT clinics promoting health and wellness, and an NBA 2K League exhibition event. The collaboration sees DCT Abu Dhabi, under Experience Abu Dhabi, the tourism promotion initiative of the UAE’s capital, serve as the Official Tourism Destination Partner of the NBA in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and China.
Below is an overview of the week’s activities:
NBA Basketball School Dubai Clinic with Shawn Marion
On Oct. 2, youth athletes from the NBA Basketball School in Dubai, a year-round basketball program in the UAE for boys and girls ages 6-18, will participate in skill development activities led by NBA legend and 2011 NBA champion Shawn Marion.
Jr. NBA School Clinics
From Oct. 2-4, the NBA will conduct several Jr. NBA clinics for boys and girls at local schools across Abu Dhabi focused on teaching the fundamentals and values of the game, including teamwork, community and healthy habits. Former NBA players Salah Mejri (Tunisia) and Ronny Turiaf (France), and former WNBA player Ticha Penicheiro (Portugal), will attend the clinics and interact with the youth participants.
NBA Coaches Clinics
On Oct. 2 and 4, Timberwolves assistant coaches Corliss Williamson and Kevin Hanson, and Mavericks assistant coach Sean Sweeney will lead clinics for local coaches that will teach techniques and best practices for team and player development at any level. Showalter will also lead two training sessions for coaches that will be livestreamed through the OWQLO App, the official app of the Jr. NBA program in Europe and the Middle East.
Jr. NBA Referees Clinic
The NBA’s Referees and International Basketball Operations departments will host an officiating clinic for referees from across the region who work at all levels of the game. The clinic will be led by former NBA G League and Basketball Africa League (BAL) referee Greg Dandridge.
Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Cares Youth Programming
Timberwolves players and coaches will lead youth players through a series of basketball drills, skill stations and challenges at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus on Oct. 3. The event will also feature a Q&A session with the Timberwolves participants.
NBA Basketball School Tournament Games
From Oct. 4-6, NBA Basketball Schools from Australia, Brazil, Kuwait and the UAE will participate in a three-day tournament at Repton School. The tournament will feature 5-on-5 games, a skills competition and a three-point contest. The teams will also visit the Grand Mosque and attend The NBA Abu Dhabi Game on Oct. 5. There will also be a workshop for NBA Basketball School partners and operators from across Europe and the Middle East to collaborate and share best practices.
NBA District Clinics
From Oct. 5-7, the NBA will host eight youth basketball clinics at NBA District, an interactive fan event that that will be held at Manarat Al Saadiyat in conjunction with The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 presented by ADQ. The clinics will feature a range of basketball programming for youth participants from Aldar, ADQ, Kyros Era Basketball Academy and Special Olympics UAE, as well as appearances and Q&A sessions by NBA legends and league ambassadors.
Dallas Mavericks Jr. NBA Youth Programming
On Oct. 6, Mavericks players and coaches will lead youth players through a series of basketball drills, skill stations and challenges at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus, as well as a Q&A session with the Mavericks participants.
Her Time To Play Clinic
On Oct. 7, the NBA will host a Her Time To Play clinic at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus for 75 girls from the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League and local Abu Dhabi schools. Participants will engage in a basketball clinic and conversations focused on female empowerment and opportunities for women in sports and leadership. The event will include appearances by Penicheiro and two-time NBA champion Kenny Smith. Her Time to Play is dedicated to championing change on behalf of girls and women and providing them with ways to connect, collaborate, and actively engage with the game of basketball and one another.