Basketball Without Borders Africa Aug 5-8

August 8, 2010

NBA players and African natives Luc Mbah a Moute (Cameroon), DeSagana Diop (Senegal) and Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania) headlined Basketball without Borders Africa- the African edition of the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach program held in Dakar, Senegal for the first time, Aug. 5- 8.

Day One

Court Dedication
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The eighth edition of Basketball without Borders Africa tipped-off this morning in Dakar, Senegal with a press conference to welcome all the players, campers and VIPs. Amadou Fall, Vice President of Development, NBA Africa, addressed the crowd, which included members of the Senegalese national basketball team, and spoke about the significance this camp has in the NBA's continued efforts developing basketball on the African continent.

This morning's Life Skills session had particular significance for the campers as Luc Mbah a Moute spoke to them about his path from BWB camper to NBA player. He stressed the importance of dedication, perseverance and willingness to go the extra mile.

Later that afternoon all of the player's joined DeSagana Diop who led the NBA Cares court dedication in the neighborhood where he grew up. The NBA partnered with Diop to bring a brand new court to what, four months ago, was just a garbage dump. Following a ribbon cutting to dedicate the new court, the NBA players led a basketball clinic for local Special Olympics athletes.

The talent is strong, the campers are eager and the players are excited. This promises to be a great Basketball without Borders.

Day Two

Hanging Mosquito Nets
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Every 30 seconds, a child dies of malaria. NBA Cares activities here at Basketball without Borders focus heavily on health and wellness, and today the players joined with the UN Foundation and USAID to help fight one of the biggest health threats here in Senegal by distributing malaria bed nets to the local community with the Nothing But Nets program. These bed nets are vital in preventing the deadly disease as they provide a safe sleeping place from the mosquitoes that swarm every night.

After being welcomed to the community of Rufisque by a short ceremony, the players, coaches and guests broke in to groups to visit houses to hand out bed nets. When it came to hanging the nets, no one was better suited to help than 7 foot 3 Hasheem Thabeet. With each net hung, the risk of malaria in the community is lowered. In total, the NBA will distribute twenty five thousand bed nets as part of Basketball without Borders.

Earlier today, the campers took to the courts for thier first chance to showcase their skills for the players. After being drafted in to teams last night, they met with their coaches and went through morning practices and games. Morning skills stations followed where the NBA and WNBA players ran the campers through drills focusing on shooting, defense, ball-handling and post play.

Day Three

Luc Dancing
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The campers had a full day of basketball with more team practices, games and skill stations. BWB community partner Hoops 4 Hope led the Life Skills session engaging the campers in activities focused on teaching about HIV/AIDS and the importance of living a healthy life style.

BWB community outreach wrapped up today with the NBA Cares Legacy project at the Y Senegal which featured a refurbished basketball court, a study room and library, and a technology center with more than 30 computers. After a ribbon cutting ceremony, the players spent time with the children at the Y reading books and playing games. Hasheem Thabeet, Willie Green, Luc Mbah A Moute and Tamika Raymond even showed off their dance moves to the beat of African drums courtesy of Dikembe Mutombo.

Camp wraps tomorrow with the All-Star game which promises to be a showcase of basketball talent.

Day Four

Luc's BWB Team
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Basketball without Borders Africa came to a close with a day full of exciting basketball action. After one last round of game sin the morning, the campers came together for the All-Star Game which featured 20 players from 10 African countries.

Team White, coached by Jay Triano, Milt Newton, Bill Cartwright, BJ Johnson, DeSagana Diop, Willie Green , Danilo Gallinari and Ronny Turiaf, jumped out to a quick lead going up 8-0 at the start. Coaches for Team Black Lionel Hollins, Rick Carlisle, Jamahl Mosley, Lisandro Miranda, Kelvin Sampson, Bill Bayno, Hasheem Thabeet, Dikembe Mutombo and Luc Mbah A Moute rallied their team to tighten the score up to 16 - 20 by the half, with White still in the lead.

In the second half, both teams continued to play strong and the game ended with at 32 - 32 tie. Even through the first minutes of overtime, the teams stayed within two points of each other. Finally, with a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key, Team Black pulled away from Team white and claimed a 39 - 34 victory.

The 3-point contest at half-time matched up Akpara Kita from Nigeria against Charles Tholo from South Africa in the final round. Kita came out on top winning the three-point contest award and a chance to challenge Danilo Gallinari to a round of three-pointers. The Knicks Italian sharpshooter sunk 5 of 12 but Kita was still hot and his 6 baskets gave him some pretty serious bragging rights.

At the end of the game, camp awards were handed out to the following winners:

South African Airways High Flyer Serigne Bamba Gueye (Senegal)
Nike Camp MVP Michael Ange Enanga (Cameroon)
Nike All-Star MVP Jean Yves Toupane (Senegal)


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