By Joseph Phillips, Sports Editor
The Chicago Crusader Newspaper
To kick off the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago, the Chicago Boys and Girls Club top 13- to 14-year-old boys and girls teams will participate in the Gatorade Jr. NBA All-Star Invitational, a single-elimination tournament, on Saturday, February 15, at both Navy Pier (600 E Grand Ave) and Wintrust Arena (200 E. Cermak Rd). The event will also air on NBA TV.
Prior to the event, 16 participating teams (eight boys and eight girls) advanced from a pool of 92 teams that competed in several preliminary competitions back in the month of January to qualify for the single-elimination tournament.
The Boys Teams will include, Ariel Elementary Community Academy, Central Middle School
Edison Park Elementary School, KIPP Ascend Charter School, Minnie Mars Jamieson Elem. School, North Park Elementary School, Robert Lindblom Math & Science Academy HS and Rudyard Kipling Elementary School.
The Girls Teams will feature A. Phillip Randolph Elementary, A.G. Elementary School, Academy of the Sacred Heart, Disney II Magnet School, Gary Comer College Prep, Legacy Charter School, Ralph H. Metcalfe Elementary Community Academy, and St. Matthias Catholic School.
In addition to the 16 additional teams competing in the event, the semifinals will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Navy Pier, and the Championship Games will be held at Wintrust Arena from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Both the winners of the boys and girls teams will earn a spot in the Jr. NBA Global Championship Midwest Regional held in Westfield, IN from June 12-14, where they will compete against top teams in the region for the chance to advance to the third Jr. NBA Global Championship in August at ESPN Wide World of Sports near Orlando, Fla.
According to the NBA League Office, several NBA stars will serve as honorary coaches during the boys and girls championship games, respectively. This includes five-time NBA All-Star and Chicago native Tim Hardaway, seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry, Chicago’s WNBA All-Star Stefanie Dolson and WNBA champion Jordin Canada.
Photo credit: NBA