Nanyang Model crowned Jr NBA champion
Shanghai Nanyang Model School was crowned the champion of the 2017-2018 Jr NBA Shanghai League over the weekend, beating Shanghai High School International Division 65-55 in the final of the playoffs.
The final of the eight-team league was held at the Shanghai Vango Sports Center on Saturday. The two schools went through the round-robin phase, which started in November, before reaching the semifinals and eventually the final.
Apart from the two finalists, the six other participants were Shanghai Wuai High School, Shanghai Pudong Foreign Affairs Services School, Concordia International School Shanghai, the High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai American School and Kang Chiao International School East China.
Shanghai Nanyang Model School finished first in the regular season after seven round-robin victories. It beat the High School Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University in the semifinal to set up a final clash against Shanghai High School International Division, also the runner-up in the regular season.
In Saturday’s final, Shanghai Nanyang took a 35-24 first-half lead thanks to an impressive performance by forward Lv Lingxiao who grabbed 16 points.
Shanghai High School showed its tenacity and managed to level the score at 46-46 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. But the more experienced Shanghai Nanyang quickly claimed a 5-point advantage and controlled the rest of the match, beating its opponent 65-55 for the championship.
Lv was named MOP (most outstanding player) of the final for his 24 points and 6 rebounds. Shanghai Nanyang coach Meng Jiasen was honored as the best coach.
Jr NBA is the National Basketball Association’s global youth development project, which encourages and supports youth basketball participation at the grassroots level. The aim is to improve the overall experience and teach young participants (mainly between the ages of 6 and 14) the fundamentals of the sport, including teamwork, respect and sportsmanship. The program also helps local coaches to develop their teaching abilities.
Jr NBA will visit 71 countries and regions around the world in the 2017-2018 season, involving more than 26 million young participants through a variety of camps, clinics, skills challenges, league play and outreach events.
The Shanghai league was the first league of the 2017-2018 Jr NBA season, which intentionally featured both public and international schools.
“Jr NBA provided a communication platform for students from local and international schools,” said Wang Ye, NBA China’s youth development vice president. “We used NBA-standard court and similar courtside elements to let young players feel the atmosphere of NBA games.”
“It’s exciting to get a chance to exchange skills with them (students from international schools),” said MOP Lv. “The fans from the two sides also created a great atmosphere.”
Jr NBA Skill Challenge competitions were also held in participant schools during the regular season of this year’s Shanghai league, involving nearly 400 students. The league also organized more than 20 student journalists to report on the matches.