18th Basketball Without Borders Europe Camp concludes in Latvia

RIGA, LATVIA, June 13, 2019 –The 18th annual Basketball Without Borders Europe Camp concluded yesterday in Riga, Latvia, where the top European basketball talents aged 17 and under had the opportunity to learn directly from current and former NBA and FIBA players and coaches and to compete against the best young players from the region. 

The four-day camp, organized by the NBA, the FIBA and the Latvia Basketball Association (Latvijas Basketbola Savieniba), brought together 64 male and female players from 26 European countries.

The campers were joined by NBA players including Latvian players Dairis Bertāns (New Orleans Pelicans), Dāvis Bertāns (San Antonio Spurs), Rodions Kurucs (Brooklyn Nets) and Kristaps Porziņģis (Dallas Mavericks), as well as Sam Dekker (Washington Wizards) and Jonathan Isaac (Orlando Magic).  Former WNBA players Anete Jekabsone (Latvia) and Raffaela Masciadri (Italy), along with former Latvian National Team Captain Gunta Basko also participated in the camp and helped with oncourt activities.

Head Coach Rick Carlisle (Dallas Mavericks), current NBA assistant coaches Josh Longstaff (Milwaukee Bucks), Jamahl Mosley (Dallas Mavericks) and Pablo Prigioni (Brooklyn Nets), as well as NBA player development coach Michael Ruffin (New Orleans Pelicans) served as BWB Europe coaches. Mavericks trainer Casey Smith served as the camp’s strength and conditioning coach and athletic trainer. 

Players and coaches led the campers through a variety of activities on and off the court, including movement efficiency, skill development stations, shooting and skills competitions  and daily life skills seminars focusing on health, leadership and communication. The campers then competed in a final series of 5 on 5 games with the winning teams advancing to a championship game.

Commenting on the camp, coach Carlisle said: “It’s great to get the chance to spend time with young players in this kind of environment. We try to help them work out and get better if we can. There’s a real, abundant effort for everybody to push the game to higher levels by sharing and raising the stakes. These kids are very skilled, very knowledgeable about how to play the game. I’m extremely impressed with their ability to step out and play with one another.”

The camp concluded with an awards ceremony where Juhann Begarin (France) and Anna Gret Asi (Estonia) were named the respective boys and girls Most Valuable Player of the camp for their outstanding play over the four days.

Other awards included:

BOYS

GRIT Award (for resilience and mental toughness)

#64 Azuolas Tubelis, Lithuania

P. Baumann Award (for sportsmanship in honour of the late FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann)

#82 Gilad Levy, Israel

GIRLS

GRIT Award (for resilience and mental toughness)

#12 Mama Dembele Traore, Spain

P. Baumann Award (for sportsmanship in honour of the late FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann)

#28 Marta Garcia Mateo, Spain