NBA

NBA, Canada Basketball join forces on youth initiative

The Jr. NBA Canadian Leadership Council has been formed by the league and Canada Basketball help grow youth basketball and features many familiar names from the sport, including Steve Nash, Kia Nurse and Pascal Siakam.

Ex-player Steve Nash, women's star Kia Nurse part of Jr. NBA Canadian Leadership Council

Raptors forward Pascal Siakam is part of the Jr. NBA Canadian Leadership Council that is helping grow youth basketball in Canada. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The NBA and Canada Basketball are forming a group in an effort to grow youth basketball in Canada.

The Jr. NBA Canadian Leadership Council features many familiar names from the sport, including Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame member Steve Nash, Canadian women's team star Kia Nurse and Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam.

Others on the list include Indiana Pacers point guard/Canadian men's team member Cory Joseph, Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia, former women's team coach Allison McNeill, former men's team coach Steve Konchalski and Raptors vice-president, basketball operations and player development Teresa Resch.

The NBA and Canada Basketball also announced a multi-year partnership to merge youth programs — the Jr. NBA Rookie Division and Steve Nash Youth Basketball — to create Jr. NBA Youth Basketball, which will be offered in 300 communities across the country. The Raptors will support the program throughout Ontario.

"This is great news for children and families across Canada to be able to participate in a fun, safe, and age appropriate introductory basketball program," Canada Basketball CEO/president Glen Grunwald said in a statement.

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