Festival features USA Basketball Men’s National Team, three days of pro-level competition,
skills clinics and more

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Park District celebrated the start of the third-annual World Basketball Festival, hosted this year in Chicago and presented by Nike, Jordan Brand and USA Basketball.

“In choosing Chicago to host this annual festival, Nike and USA Basketball are recognizing our City’s rich basketball culture while allowing us to showcase Chicago as a first-class sports and tourism destination,” said Mayor Emanuel. “In addition to providing elite-level competition, the youth clinics to be offered by the festival will give our kids an opportunity to play the game they love, to improve and to have fun around great mentors.”

The World Basketball Festival kicks off today at 11 a.m. and runs through Saturday, August 16. The festival will include free youth skills clinics and instruction with pro-basketball players, interactions with pro-athletes and Team USA, and festival-style community events. At the end of the festival, the 2014 USA Men’s National Team will face the 2014 Brazil Men’s National Team in an exhibition game at the United Center on Saturday, August 16 at 8 pm.

This event complements the variety of Chicago Park District basketball programs designed to help Chicago’s youth stay active and build essential life skills. For example, this is the second year of Chi League Parks, a free program created by Nike in partnership with the Chicago Park District. Chi League Parks offers a safe place for kids aged 9-18 to participate in an immersive basketball and life skills clinic. This year, the program has been expanded to reach 10,000 Chicago kids, up from 5,000 kids last year.

Additionally, the Park District’s Windy City Hoops program provides teens with the opportunity to be active, have fun and play a little basketball. Created in partnership with NBA Hall of Famer Isaiah Thomas, Windy City Hoops is a Chicago Park District community basketball program designed to provide a safe and productive activity for youth throughout Chicago.

For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,100 acres of parkland, more than 580 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.