This year's Jr NBA ambassador has been officially announced!
December 04, 2019
Basketball Ireland has today revealed that Francisco Elson will be the official NBA ambassador for the second annual Irish Jr. NBA Festival of Basketball, which will take place next Tuesday, December 10th, at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght and is proudly supported by DeCare Dental.
The event is the culmination of this year's Jr. NBA Basketball Ireland league, with the finals featuring the top two teams from each conference competing to be crowned the champions. Now in its second year, the league features 10 Irish clubs that partnered with local primary schools to create 30 teams, each of which represented an NBA team and received corresponding NBA team-branded uniforms for their games.
This year's ambassador, Elson, played on the Under 20 national team for the Netherlands before embarking on a college career in the USA. In his senior season at the University of California, he helped the team win the NIT Championship. After his successful college career, the Dutch big man was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. Despite being drafted to the NBA, Elson began his professional career back in Europe with Barcelona, where he won the Spanish title. In 2003, Elson made the jump to the NBA and joined the Denver Nuggets. This began a nine-year stint in the NBA that saw him represent the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers. In 2007, Elson reached the top of the NBA, becoming an NBA Champion with the San Antonio Spurs. In the 2007 NBA Finals, his Spurs team swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. During his illustrious NBA career, Elson was teammates with Tim Duncan, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Gordon Hayward.
With over 400 children coming to the National Basketball Arena next Tuesday, the seven-foot centre is bound to be a big hit!
You can see full details of the Jr. NBA teams, clubs and schools involved below.
Jr. NBA Basketball Ireland League 2019
Belfast Phoenix (Antrim)
Moira Primary School – Indiana Pacers
St Anne’s Primary School – LA Clippers
St Teresa’s Primary School – Washington Wizards
Drogheda Wolves (Louth)
Gaelscoil an Bhradain Feasa – San Antonio Spurs
St Paul’s National School – LA Lakers
Tullyallen National School – Sacramento Kings
Kilrush Basketball Club (Clare)
St Senans Primary School Kilrush – Portland Trail Blazers
Scoil Realt na Mara Kilkee – Charlotte Hornets
Gaelscoil Uí Choimín Kilrush – Minnesota Timberwolves
Limerick Lions (Limerick)
CBS Primary School Sexton Street – OKC Thunder
Maria King Presentation Primary School – Phoenix Suns
Malahide Basketball Club (Dublin)
Pope John Paul II National School – Miami Heat
St Oliver Plunketts National School – Orlando Magic
Maree National School – Milwaukee Bucks
St. Oliver Plunketts National School Kilkerrin – Philadelphia 76ers
Scoil Mhuire Oranmore – New York Knicks
Scoil Bhaile Nua and Scoil Naomh Cholmain, Moycullen – New Orleans Pelicans
Scoil Mhuire & Scoil Naomh Bride, Moycullen – Brooklyn Nets
North Kildare (Kildare)
Maynooth Educate Together – Chicago Bulls
Scoil Mochua, Cellbridge – Atlanta Hawks
Portlaoise Panthers (Laois)
Holy Family School – Golden State Warriors
Scoil Bhride Portlaoise – Denver Nuggets
Skibbereen Eagles (Cork)
St Patrick’s National School Skibbereen – Memphis Grizzlies
West Cork Rath, Union Hall, Castlehaven & Drimolegue National Schools (combination) – Detroit Pistons
St Joseph’s National School Skibbereen – Utah Jazz
UCD Marian and Meteors (Dublin)
St Attractas, Ballinteer – Houston Rockets
Hollypark Boys National School and Scoil San Treasa – Toronto Raptors
Scoil Naithí, Ballinteer – Dallas Mavericks
UL Huskies and Limerick Lakers (Limerick)
St. Brigid's National School, Singland – Cleveland Cavaliers
Castleconnell NS, Castleconnell, Limerick – Boston Celti
Find out more about Jr. NBA Basketball:
For more information on the Jr. NBA Basketball Ireland League, please visit http://jr.nba.com/.
For more information about the NBA, fans can visit NBA.com, Facebook.com/NBA and @NBA on Twitter.
Fans can download the NBA App for news, updates, scores, stats, schedules, videos and more.
Find out more about DeCare Dental:
DeCare Dental is Ireland’s only specialist dental insurance and oral health company, providing dental insurance products and oral health services to both the corporate and consumer markets. The team is dedicated to enabling people to attend the dentist thereby improving oral and general health and this has resulted in resulted in increased dental attendance and improved oral health over the past number of years in Ireland and the United States.
DeCare has operations in Claremorris, County Mayo and in Dublin, employing over 125 staff with deep experience and clinical knowledge. DeCare is a subsidiary of Anthem, the largest health benefits provider in the United States and a brand that is recognised for innovation and service and provides service to 50 million medical members.
Globally, the Irish team provides service to over 10 million dental members worldwide and has been doing so for close to 20 years.