Numerous NBA and WNBA players and legends have joined the Jr. NBA at Home initiative, which aims to encourage kids and families to stay healthy and active from the comfort of their own homes
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NBA, WNBA helps flatten coronavirus curve with Jr. NBA at Home
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - April 2, 2020 - 10:52am

MANILA, Philippines — The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the world of sports in a global scale like no other crisis has done before.

With almost all sporting events put on hold or canceled altogether, athletes have found different ways to remain relevant in this extraordinary time.

For their part, the NBA and WNBA community of players and coaches have taken it upon themselves to bring encouragement during the pandemic.

As part of the NBA Together campaign, the NBA has launched Jr. NBA at Home, a program that provides basketball skills and drills featuring NBA and WNBA players online to help kids and families stay active at home.

Philstar.com was able to acquire an exclusive interview with NBA Director of International Grassroots Basketball Lead Dawn Smyth to talk about the initiative.

"The platform aims to inspire youth to stay connected to one another while also staying physically and mentally active," Smyth told Philstar.com.

"One of the goals of the overall Jr. NBA program is to inspire kids to be physically active and healthy, no matter the circumstances. During this challenging time, there are new barriers to playing sports and staying active, so we launched Jr. NBA at Home to provide youth and families with the access to activities that can be completed individually and in limited space," she added.

The program has already produced a number of videos available on the NBA's and WNBA's social media platforms, featuring players like the Memphis Grizzlies' Jaren Jackson Jr., Indiana's Myles Turner and WNBA guard Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm.

"Seeing NBA and WNBA players find ways to stay active can be a source of inspiration for kids in the same quarantine situation," Smyth said.

In the local scene, Jr. NBA Philippines coaches will also be uploading videos of drills and Q&As on the local and regional Jr. NBA social media assets.

"We are thankful that the entire NBA and WNBA family – including players, coaches, international basketball staff and trainers – are so passionate about using their platform to support, engage, educate and inspire youth, families and fans in response to the coronavirus pandemic," Smyth added.

For the players part, NBA President of Social Resposibility and Player Programs Kathy Behrens had this to say in an interview with USA Today.

"This is a time of great sacrifice and everybody can do something. We're no different in trying to figure out how we use our platform and reach and how can we be helpful in a world that needs a lot of help," Behrens said.

At a time where basketball courts are empty and gyms are closed, players around the world are making a difference to help communities stay safe and healthy.

2019-N-COV BASKETBALL CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 JR. NBA
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