The Kings have long been recognized for their international connections. Four men in the organization will take part in an overseas event this week that showcases youth basketball talent.
The 17th edition of Basketball Without Borders Europe tips off Wednesday in Belgrade, Serbia. The four-day tournament will bring together 63 boys and girls ages 17 and younger from 25 European and Asian countries, according to a release from the NBA.
Kings players Bogdan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica will serve as coaches. Also participating in the camp will be Kings’ general manager Vlade Divac and assistant GM Peja Stojakovic, both Serbia natives.
Among those scheduled to be at the Zarkovo Sports Hall are Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, Orlando Magic forward Nikola Vucevic and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
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Divac is very familiar with the event. He and former Chicago Bulls swingman Toni Kukoc were among those who worked with 50 children during the first BWB Europe in 2001 at La Ghirada in Treviso, Italy.
BWB Europe 2018 will also include NBA Cares community outreach efforts with youth in Belgrade, including packing and delivering care packages to young people dealing with illnesses. Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with Nike apparel and footwear.
BWB has reached more than 3,300 participants from 130 countries and territories since 2001, with more than 55 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents. A record 24 former BWB campers were on opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season, including Milos Teodosic (L.A. Clippers; Serbia; BWB Europe 2001).
The NBA and FIBA have staged 55 BWB camps in 34 cities across 27 countries on six continents. Since 2001, the event has been held in Europe every year except for 2009.
More than 260 current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players have joined more than 200 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams to support BWB across the world.