Jr. NBA Global Championship

jr nba team pic

Beginning on August 6, over 350 of the top 13- and 14-year old boys and girls will participate in the Jr. NBA Global Championship. The United States will be represented by 8 boys teams and 8 girls teams who won their Regional Tournament. In addition, 8 boys and 8 girls international teams will compete from all over the world.

jr nba international picThe Jr. NBA is an incredible opportunity for young boys and girls to play against the top competition in the world in front of some NBA and WNBA players who will be in attendance. This experience allows them to not only improve their basketball skills, but it could be the stepping stone for something big. Players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Miles Bridges, Draymond Green, Candice Wiggins, Chiney Ogwumike, and many more could attest to that, as they are all alumni of the U.S. teams.

The Jr. NBA Global Championship will take place in Orlando, Florida from August 6 to August 11. A list of teams by region can be found below:

U.S Jr. NBA Teams by Region

boys and girls jr nba championship us team list

 

International Jr. NBA Boys and Girls Teams

jr nba list of international teams

A quote from Dwayne Wade:

“I attended last year’s Jr. NBA Global Championship and it was incredible to witness the talent and passion displayed by boys and girls from around the world.  This event offers a unique opportunity for young players to learn about different cultures while bonding through their love of the game.”

 

Basketball turning global, and the proof is in the pudding.

global bball 3

With the announcement of the 2019 NBA awards, there was one common factor between nearly all major award recipients; international players. The game of basketball is not only growing worldwide, but the level of play is expanding as well. During the 2018-19 NBA season, roughly 25% of players in the league were foreign-born, ranging from 42 different countries. Not only is this trend rising, but the players coming in are making a significant impact on the franchise’s they join. Four out of the five major NBA award recipients were foreign-born, and the Toronto Raptors, the only non-American team in the league, just won their first ever NBA Championship.

The league is becoming more and more competitive, and a lot of this can be attributed to the global advancements in the game of basketball. The following foreign-born award recipients played crucial roles on their teams during the 2018-19 season.

Most Valuable Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

giannis

nba.com

Giannis, commonly referred to as “The Greek Freak,” was born in Athens, Greece. He began his professional basketball career in Greece, until the Milwaukee Bucks drafted him in 2013 as the 15th overall pick. With his first MVP selection this year, he averaged 27.7 PPG, 12.5 RPG, and 5.9 APG, all while being one of the best defensive players in the league. He lead the Bucks to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001.

Rookie of the Year: Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks

luka doncic

washingtonpost.com

Luka Dončić was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. In 2015, at the age of 16, he began his professional career with Real Madrid. Needless to say, he found success in the EuroLeaugue as he earned the EuroLeague MVP award in 2018 at 19 years old. He was then drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 2018 as the 3rd overall pick and traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he made his NBA debut. During his first year, Dončić averaged 21.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 6.0 APG, earning him Rookie of the Year honors.

Defensive Player of the Year: Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

rudy gobert.jpg

nba.com

Rudy Gobert was born in Saint-Quentin, France. His professional career started in 2010 with Cholet Basket, a French junior team. Gobert was drafted in 2013 by the Denver Nuggets as the 27th pick and traded to the Utah Jazz. During the 2018-19 season, he averaged 12.9 RPG and 2.3 blocks to earn him the Defensive Player of the Year award.

 

Most Improved Player: Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

pascal siakam

msn.com

Pascal Siakam, originally from Douala, Cameroon, played a pivotal role in the Toronto Raptors NBA Title. He played college basketball at New Mexico State University (2013-2016) until he was drafted as the number 27th pick by the Toronto Raptors in 2016. During the 2017-18 season, Siakam averaged just 7.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, and 20.7 MPG. To earn himself the Most Improved Player award, he bumped those stats up to 16.9 PPG, 6.9 RPG, and 31.9 MPG during the 2018-19 season.

 

 

 

 

 

Raptors knock off NBA powerhouse to secure first NBA championship

raptors win

Twitter / Raptors

June 13 is a day that Toronto Raptors players, coaches, and fans will remember for a long time. On this day, the Raptors left a mark in NBA championship history by beating off the most dominant team in the past 5 years—the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have practically controlled the league for the past 5 years, appearing in 5 consecutive NBA finals with 3 championships.

So how did the Raptors knock off this NBA powerhouse to clinch their first Championship?

raptors win championship pic

Twitter / Raptors

Depth. One of the most evident differences between the teams was depth, and it was especially noticeable when Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were out during Game 6. Fred Vanvleet and Serge Ibaka contributed significant minutes for the Raptors coming off the bench, averaging 32.5 and 19.3 MPG, respectively. With Durant out for most of the series, there was a significant drop off between the starters and bench players in terms of productivity for the Warriors. The bottom line is that Toronto had more weapons than Golden State. The Raptors had 6 players averaging double digits throughout the series, whereas the Warriors only had 3: Curry, Thompson, and Green. 

Kawhi Leonard. Throughout each game of the NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard was the key for Toronto’s success. He averaged 28.5 PPG and 9.8 RPG in the 6 game series, scoring over 20 points every game. The consistency he displayed during the series was Kawhi mvpvital for the Raptors to knock off the defending champs, and it led him to earning his second NBA Finals MVP award. Now, the big question is…with Kawhi approaching free agency, where will he go? Will he stay in Toronto or sign with a new team?

 

 

 

 

 

Horner Flooring Portable Systems

Horner Flooring offers portable flooring systems that are played on by elite athletes around the world. Our ProKing™ portable floor is used by the NBA, WNBA, NCAA, FIBA, and other associations. As the most trusted name in sports flooring, we are dedicated to making sure that your athletes are playing on the best quality floors, while fulfilling design visions. Take a look at some of our most recent work!


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It’s Conference Finals Time!

The time has come for the 2015 NBA Eastern and Western Conference Championships! Both match-ups are between the one and two seeds, having the one seeded Atlanta Hawks take on the two-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in the East and the top-ranked Golden State Warriors battling the second-ranked Houston Rockets.

All four teams haven’t won a championship since the 20th century, including the Cavs who have never hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The Warriors haven’t seen the finals in 40 years, since their last trip in 1975 as the newly renamed Golden State Warriors. Houston, who are the most recent winners of the four, last played – and won – in 1995. The Atlanta Hawks have had the longest drought since winning their lone championship in 1958, although they came close to another victory in 1961. lebronThen there is the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although LeBron James led them to the championship in 2007, the Cavs were swept by MVP Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs. After the 2010 season, James decided to take his talents to South Beach and won to back-to-back championships with the Miami Heat, but eventually returned to bring back a championship to his home state of Ohio. With the finals in sight again, LeBron, Kyrie Irving, Kendrick Perkins, J.R. Smith, without the help from injured Kevin Love, are pulling out all of the stops to finally call Cleveland the home of the NBA Champions.

With Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the Golden State Warriors have taken the advantage on the Rockets with a 110-106 win with the help from MVP Stephen Curry and a smaller than average lineup. The Warriors found themselves down by 16 in the second quarter but ended the first half on a 21-4 run and entered the locker room at halftime up by three. stephcurryRunner up to Stephen Curry in the MVP race, James Harden held on with a near-triple double of 28 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, but once center Dwight Howard left the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent knee injury, Harden continued to push off defeat. Eventually evening it up at 95, Steph Curry went out and proved why he was the MVP and continued to nail three pointers as the game eventually came to an end, sending the Warriors up with a 1-0 lead on the Rockets going into Game 2.

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals tips off today (5/20/15) at 8:30 PM EST, with coverage on TNT.

NBA Playoff Update

The first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs is nearly complete with three teams already punching their tickets for the second round of action. While the series are coming to an end, teams are fighting their way to survive and advance.

In the West, the top-seeded Golden State Warriors took a demanding lead against the New Orleans Pelicans and ousted them from a chance at the championship 4-0. Guard Stephen Curry continued his historical season with a monumental 39 points and 9 assists in the final game.

gswsteph

The second-seeded Houston Rockets’ attempt at a series sweep was denied by Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks, winning Game 4 121-109. Tip-off for Game 5 is at 8:00 PM tonight on TNT.

In a hotly-contested Game 5, the third-seeded Los Angeles Clippers evened the series with the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs, with an outstanding performance by Chris Paul who had 34 points to help the Clippers. They will battle for the series lead again tonight at 10:30 PM ET, following the Rockets and Mavericks game.

The Portland Trailblazers narrowly avoided elimination with a memorable 32 point, 7 assist performance from Damian Lillard. The Memphis Grizzlies had a 3-0 lead on the Blazers going into Game 4, but couldn’t hold off Lillard’s strong play. The Grizzlies have a chance to advance with Game 5 in Memphis on April 29 at 9:30 PM ET on TNT.

In the East, Cleveland swept the Celtics in a scrappy Game 4, with J.R. Smith being ejected in the third quarter on a physical play against the Celtics’ Jae Crowder who didn’t return after spraining his knee on the play. Cavs forward Kevin Love left the game with a dislocated shoulder after Celtic Kelly Olynyk and Love got tangled while fighting for a loose ball. The Cavs are unsure of Love’s return in the second round, and even in the playoffs all together. 635656656136938690-USP-NBA-PLAYOFFS-CLEVELAND-CAVALIERS-AT-BOSTON-CE-72618160

Also advancing out of the East, the fifth seeded Washington Wizards defeated the Toronto Raptors 125-94 to gain the series sweep. Wizard Marcin Gortat had 21 points in the win.

The top-seeded Atlanta Hawks lost to the eighth-seeded Brooklyn Nets after a monstrous 35 point, 7 assist overtime game. The series goes back to Atlanta for a pivotal Game 5 on April 29 at 7:00 PM ET on TNT.

In a thrilling Central Division match-up, the Bulls have a one game lead on the Bucks as the series heads back to Milwaukee. After a double overtime loss in Game 3, and a buzzer-beating  win for Game 4, the Bucks won and survived for one more game against the Bulls in Game 5.

As the Playoffs go on, it will be exciting to see who makes it to the 2015 NBA Finals. Only time will tell which teams has the most talent to make it all the way

NBA All-Star Game Results

Did you tune into the NBA All-Star game this past weekend? Read on for full results!

All-Star Game:

The East won with a final score of 163 to 155, ending it’s three year losing streak with the highest scoring All-Star game yet (the highest All-Star score was previously 155 points for the West in 2003). The game’s MVP was Kyrie Irving, who scored 31 points and made 14 assists. An All-Star record was made by Carmelo Anthony, who made eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points.

The West scored 44 points in the first quarter and 45 in the second for a total of 89 points in the first half, another All-Star record. However, the East brought their score up in the second half as Irving helped the East get 87 points.

2014 NBA All-Star Game

Photo courtesy of SIKIDS.com

On a more musical note, Magic Johnson encouraged the All-Stars to sing “Happy Birthday” to Bill Russell, a Hall-of-Famer and a great NBA champion, at the All-Star game. Russell turned 80. What a way to spend your birthday!

2014 NBA All-Star Game

Photo courtesy of SIKIDS.com

For complete details of the NBA-All Star weekend, check out the NBA’s website.

For more information on Horner Flooring, the manufacturer of the NBA All-Star floor, visit hornerflooring.com.