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OZY: Santiago Vescovi understands where he’s at — that as a virtual unknown in American basketball circles, he’s going to be checked, tested, maybe even ridiculed. He is, after all, from Uruguay, the South American country known for producing goal scorers of a different sport known to the world by a single name.

ESPN+ As Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri delivered a fiery closing speech to more than 60 young athletes, with Dikembe Mutombo and NBA commissioner Adam Silver to his left and NBA Africa vice president Amadou Gallo Fall behind him, he reiterated the same passionate message he echoed all camp long: "Africa is now!"

24/7 Sports – College coaches and scouts came in droves to the NBA Academy Games, which showcased more than 60 international prospects this past week at the pristine Atlanta Hawks practice facility.

AFP - Top prospects from worldwide NBA Academy programs will gather next month in Atlanta for a series of exhibition games where US college coaches and NBA scouts can analyze their talent.

Featured Video: NBA Global Academy Mojave King featured on Fox Sports

What are NBA Academies?

NBA Academies, a network of elite basketball training centers around the world, include educational development for top male and female prospects from outside the U.S. and mark the NBA’s signature elite player development initiative. The initiative exposes elite prospects to NBA-level coaching, facilities and competition and provides a global framework for them to maximize their success.

Employing a holistic, 360-degree approach to player development with focuses on education, leadership, character development and life skills, NBA Academies build on the league’s existing grassroots programming, including Basketball Without Borders (BWB) - the NBA and the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) global basketball development and community outreach program that has seen more than 50 former campers make it to the NBA.

Since October 2016, NBA Academies have been launched in Canberra, Australia; Jinan, Urumqi and Zhuji, China; Mexico City, Mexico; Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), India; and Thies, Senegal. As part of the program, the student-athletes compete against top competition throughout the year and have an opportunity to be selected for travel teams that play in international tournaments and exhibition games.

Each NBA Academy is staffed with NBA-trained coaches who foster the development of student-athletes on and off the court, during and after their basketball careers. NBA Academy coaches implement a curriculum developed by leading player development coaches that teaches the fundamentals of the game so NBA Academy student-athletes improve individually and as teammates. Each NBA Academy is also staffed with an experienced strength and conditioning coach who helps the student-athletes improve their athleticism and stay healthy.

Depending on the location of the academy, student-athletes either attend a local public school or receive a scholarship to a local private school, and all student-athletes receive academic support as needed. In addition to academic development, the student-athletes receive life-skills training, including health and wellness education, financial management and career development.

What are NBA Basketball Schools?

NBA Basketball Schools are a network of basketball development programs around the world open to both male and female players ages 6-18. The NBA Basketball School is unique in its approach based on “the NBA way” of developing players in a structured program and environment focused on skill development and promoting positive values such as integrity, teamwork, respect and determination.