The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in collaboration with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), will host the Gulf region’s first Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Asia youth development and community outreach programme, running 2-5 June 2023 at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD). BWB Asia 2023 will bring together the top male and female players ages 18 and under from across Asia to learn directly from current and former NBA, Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and FIBA players, legends and coaches and compete alongside their peers from the region. The campers and coaches, who will be announced prior to the camp, will also take part in life skills, leadership development and community service programming.  

In conjunction with BWB Asia 2023, a Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi Elite Camp will be held at NYUAD from Friday 2 June – Sunday 4 June.  The camp will bring together 40 of the top boys and girls ages 15 and under from the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League to participate in fundamental skill development and 5-on-5 competition. In January, the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi launched an expanded second season of the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi League featuring boys and girls leagues each comprised of 450 players ages 11-14 from schools across the UAE capital city.

Ralph Rivera, NBA Europe and Middle East Managing Director, said: “For over two decades, Basketball Without Borders has played a key role in developing top international prospects, with more than 100 having played in the NBA and WNBA. We’re thrilled to be bringing this transformative program to the Arabian Gulf for the first time and thank FIBA and DCT Abu Dhabi for their commitment to helping develop the next generation of players in the UAE and beyond.

Zoran Radovic, FIBA National Federations and Sport Director, said: “We are extremely happy to have this edition of BWB Asia in the UAE for the first time, where the best prospects from Asia and Oceania will be able to demonstrate their skills and commitment to our sport. We are thankful to DCT Abu Dhabi for accepting this joint initiative from both the NBA and FIBA and for their commitment to this prestigious camp. We look forward to seeing the future stars of the game in Abu Dhabi.”

Saleh Al Geziry, Director General of Tourism at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “It’s an honour to host the 13th edition of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Asia in Abu Dhabi, bringing the prestigious programme to the region for the very first time. In partnership with the NBA and FIBA, DCT Abu Dhabi is committed to inspiring and equipping young athletes, both in the UAE and across the world, teaching the fundamental skills and core values of the game – including teamwork, respect, determination and community. Through the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi Elite Camp, and our ongoing Jr. NBA League programme, we are developing the talent of school children across the emirate, fostering a love for basketball, as well as team spirit and dedication.”

BWB Asia 2023 and the Jr. NBA Abu Dhabi Elite Camp are part of a multi-year collaboration between the NBA and DCT Abu Dhabi that will see The NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2023 feature the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves playing two preseason games on Thursday 5 October and Saturday 7 October at Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.  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.

BWB has reached more than 3,900 participants from 134 countries and territories since 2001, with 105 former campers advancing to the NBA or WNBA. The NBA and FIBA have staged 67 BWB camps in 44 cities on six continents.

BWB Asia 2023 will be supported by Nike, a global partner of BWB since 2002, which will outfit participants with Nike apparel and footwear, and Gatorade, which will keep players and coaches hydrated throughout the camp.