Former NBA star coming to Dublin as second annual Jr. NBA takes centre stage in Tallaght

Basketball Ireland has today revealed that Francisco Elson will be the official NBA ambassador for the second annual Irish Jr. NBA Festival of Basketball, which will take place next Tuesday, December 10th, at the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght and is proudly supported by DeCare Dental.

The event is the culmination of this year’s Jr. NBA Basketball Ireland league, with the finals featuring the top two teams from each conference competing to be crowned the champions.  Now in its second year, the league features 10 Irish clubs that partnered with local primary schools to create 30 teams, each of which represented an NBA team and received corresponding NBA team-branded uniforms for their games.

This year’s ambassador, Elson, played on the Under 20 national team for the Netherlands before embarking on a college career in the USA. In his senior season at the University of California, he helped the team win the NIT Championship. After his successful college career, the Dutch big man was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1999 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. Despite being drafted to the NBA, Elson began his professional career back in Europe with Barcelona, where he won the Spanish title. In 2003, Elson made the jump to the NBA and joined the Denver Nuggets. This began a nine-year stint in the NBA that saw him represent the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers. In 2007, Elson reached the top of the NBA, becoming an NBA Champion with the San Antonio Spurs. In the 2007 NBA Finals, his Spurs team swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. During his illustrious NBA career, Elson was teammates with Tim Duncan, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Gordon Hayward.

With over 400 children coming to the National Basketball Arena next Tuesday, the seven-foot centre is bound to be a big hit!

Jr. NBA Basketball Ireland League 2019

Belfast Phoenix (Antrim)

Moira Primary School – Indiana Pacers

St Anne’s Primary School – LA Clippers

St Teresa’s Primary School – Washington Wizards

Drogheda Wolves (Louth)

Gaelscoil an Bhradain Feasa – San Antonio Spurs

St Paul’s National School – LA Lakers

Tullyallen National School – Sacramento Kings

Kilrush Basketball Club (Clare)

St Senans Primary School – Portland Trail Blazers

Scoil Realt na Mara Kilkee – Charlotte Hornets

Gaelscoil Uí Choimín Kilrush – Minnesota Timberwolves

Limerick Lions (Limerick)

CBS Primary School Sexton Street – OKC Thunder

Maria King Presentation Primary School – Phoenix Suns

Malahide Basketball Club (Dublin)

Pope John Paul II National School – Miami Heat

St Oliver Plunketts National School – Orlando Magic

Maree (Galway)

Maree National School – Milwaukee Bucks

St. Oliver Plunketts National School Kilkerrin – Philadelphia 76ers

Scoil Mhuire Oranmore – New York Knicks

Moycullen (Galway)

Scoil Bhaile Nua and Scoil Naomh Cholmain, Moycullen – New Orleans Pelicans

Scoil Mhuire & Scoil Naomh Bride, Moycullen – Brooklyn Nets

North Kildare (Kildare)

Maynooth Educate Together – Chicago Bulls

Scoil Mochua, Cellbridge – Atlanta Hawks

Portlaoise Panthers (Laois)

Holy Family School – Golden State Warriors

Scoil Bhride Portlaoise – Denver Nuggets

Skibbereen Eagles (Cork)

St Patrick’s National School Skibbereen – Memphis Grizzlies

West Cork Rath, Union Hall, Castlehaven & Drimolegue National Schools (combination) – Detroit Pistons

St Joseph’s National School Skibbereen – Utah Jazz

UCD Marian and Meteors (Dublin)

St Attractas, Ballinteer – Houston Rockets

Hollypark Boys National School and Scoil San Treasa – Toronto Raptors

Scoil Naithí, Ballinteer – Dallas Mavericks

UL Huskies and Limerick Lakers (Limerick)

St. Brigid’s National School, Singland – Cleveland Cavaliers

Castleconnell NS, Castleconnell, Limerick – Boston Celtics