The National Basketball Association is coming to Fredericton Nov. 26-29 during its nationwide All-Star 2016 program.
The program will cover 14 Canadian cities across 10 provinces from November through February.
The All-Star program is an initiative to celebrate the 65th annual NBA All-Star Game held in Toronto Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre.
It is the first game to be held outside of the United States and is known to bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history.
Fredericton was chosen to host the program’s events at the YMCA with Kidsfest, an interactive family-friendly experience featuring Jr. NBA clinics and NBA Cares activities such as dance classes led by NBA dancers, and a youth art program that invites the community to design a canvas that will be displayed at the All-Star game in Toronto.
The YMCA’s partnership with Kidsfest will also give young sports enthusiasts a chance to try their hand at news making through the Junior Reporter Contest.
“We couldn’t be more excited to bring NBA All-Star 2016 events to 14 cities across the country,” said NBA Canada Vice President and Managing Director Dan MacKenzie.
“As part of our largest grassroots initiative in Canada to date, this program will allow us to grow the game in the birthplace of basketball while also providing top young talent with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend NBA All-Star.”
The event will hold a skills challenge for competitors and dunkers on an all-expense paid trip to compete for a national title in Toronto at the 2016 All-Stars. The regional challenges will be held at local universities and tie into each school’s basketball games.
NBA’s Global Ambassador and Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo and former players Muggsy Bogues and Ron Harper, among others, will interact with fans across the country.
Also, appearances by NBA mascots and team dancers will participate in the All-Star-themed events and basketball activities.
Other events at NBA All-Star 2016 include the All-Star Celebrity game and the NBA Development League game.
The NBA is also celebrating the 125th anniversary of the birth of basketball when Toronto hosted the first game in history on Nov. 01, 1946 at the Maple Leaf Gardens.
Fredericton, Halifax, Charlottetown, and St. Johns are the four Atlantic Provinces chosen to host the events, along with Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Regina, Sherbrooke, Toronto, Vancouver, Windsor and Winnipeg.
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