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NBA Launches Campaign To Support Youth Basketball Campaign In Canada

NBA Anthony BennettThe National Basketball Association (NBA) has launched a new campaign called “Playball,” in Canada aimed at increasing youth participation in basketball across the country, the league announced today.  The campaign includes the NBA’s first-ever central database for youth clubs, public service announcements (PSAs) featuring notable Canadian and Raptor basketball talent, and a media promotions.

Launched in English and French, NBA.com/playball features nearly 700 youth basketball clubs in 10 provinces and three territories.  This first central youth club database will make it easy for youth and parents to find places to play.

“It is an exciting time for basketball in this country, from the first-ever Canadian number one pick in the NBA Draft this year, to rising participation numbers in the sport at all levels,” said Dan Mackenzie, Vice President and General Manager, NBA Canada. “Through this campaign, we will make it easier to find a place to play and to further contribute to the growth of basketball in Canada.”

In support of the new website, NBA broadcast partners in Canada will air two PSAs (video above and below) outlining the benefits of playing basketball such as having fun, exercising, learning sportsmanship and teamwork. The PSAs were a collaboration between the NBA, Canada Basketball, the Toronto Raptors and Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

Talent in the spots includes five of the nine current Canadian NBA players, Raptors players, and members of the Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s National Teams. The website and PSAs will also be promoted across the league’s social media assets in Canada.  The PSAs will run on Rogers Sportsnet (Ontario, Pacific, East, West, Sportsnet One), TSN, TSN 2 and NBA TV Canada.

The following Canadian players are featured in the PSAs:

  • Anthony Bennett, Cleveland Cavaliers (Brampton, Ontario)
  • Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers (Brampton, Ontario)
  • Joel Anthony, Miami Heat (Montreal, Quebec)
  • Jamaal Magloire, formerly of the Toronto Raptors (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics (Kamloops, British Columbia)
  • Cory Joseph, San Antonio Spurs (Pickering, Ontario)
  • Jay Triano, Canada Basketball Head Coach and Portland Trailblazers Assistant Coach (Niagara Falls, Ontario)
  • Shona Thorburn, Canada Basketball (Hamilton, Ontario)
  • Tamara Tatham, Canada Basketball (Brampton, Ontario)
  • Carl English, Canada Basketball (St. John’s, Newfoundland)

The following Toronto Raptors are featured in the PSAs:

  • Qunicy Acy
  • Terrence Ross
  • Jonas Valanciunas
  • Dwane Casey, Head Coach

Seven Canadian players have been drafted into the NBA in the past three years, with nine currently featured on NBA rosters.  The NBA BIG Tour will visit five Canadian cities in September and October, offering BIG Talent and BIG Entertainment in local markets.  NBA Canada Series will take place for the second consecutive year when the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves play a preseason game in Montreal on October 20, 2013.