The NBA and Canada Basketball announced Monday the creation of the Jr. NBA Canadian Leadership Council, an initiative designed to help grow youth basketball in Canada by "providing direction on Jr. NBA Youth Basketball's programming and development."
The two organizations' existing youth programs - Jr. NBA Rookie Division and Steve Nash Youth Basketball - will also merge as the rebranded Jr. NBA Youth Basketball.
Current and former players with NBA or WNBA ties on the new council include Hall of Famer Steve Nash, Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, Indiana Pacers guard Cory Joseph, and New York Liberty guard Kia Nurse.
The entire council, in alphabetical order, includes:
The 300-plus community organizations that are participating in Jr. NBA Youth Basketball will teach a development curriculum designed by the NBA and Canada Basketball that "reflects the Canadian style of play." The Raptors will support the program throughout Ontario.
"This investment in basketball development on a national level will ensure even more youth have access to age-appropriate instruction while fostering life skills and core values including teamwork and respect," Nash said in a statement.