After the intense three days of life skills seminars, skills development sessions and competitive games each afternoon, the last day of the camp was all about celebration. The morning saw the last games being played on the courts of King Edward VII School in Johannesburg, but the real fun came in the afternoon when some of the most promising young players representing the African continent faced each other in the 2013 Basketball without Borders Africa All-Star Game.
Johannesburg woke up to a chilly Saturday morning as the life skills and basketball action continued on the courts of King Edward VII School. As on the morning before, both boys and girls started their third day at the camp with a life skills seminar. Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Jerryd Bayless had headed to the courts before other coaches and players arrived to spend time with the youth and talk about leadership as well as share their life experiences and lessons.
But the message of the day came from Thabo Sefolosha, who told the campers in attendance, “There are people here who care about the future of this country, and you are the future of this country” Sefolosha said. “Please respect this court and make a good use of it by coming here, keeping it in a safe place, keeping it in a place where you can play sports, interact with one another, in a good way and in a good manner.”
The second day of the Basketball without Borders Africa camp started with a life skills seminar conducted by current African NBA players Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania), Luol Deng (South Sudan), Serge Ibaka (Congo) and Bismack Biyombo (DRC) with WNBA legend Clarisse Machanguana (Mozambique) interacting with elite South African female players aged 18 and younger at the BWB Girls’ Camp. Life skills seminars form an integral part of the BWB Africa curriculum and are conducted in partnership with UNICEF and Hoops 4 Hope.
A skills development session followed later in the day, while NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA Africa chief Amadou Fall and an assortment of NBA and WNBA players and legends visited the SOS Children’s Village in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg.
The four-day camp officially started with a press conference held on the main court where Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA Vice President for Development – Africa, introduced current and former NBA and WNBA players and coaches. For the players, the event marks the second consecutive BWB camp for Luol Deng, Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha and Dikembe Mutombo, while Bismack Biyombo, Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Jerryd Bayless and Clarice Machanguana are making their BWB debuts.
Fall especially welcomed Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, visiting South Africa for the first time. The Deputy Commissioner extended a warm welcome to all invited guests and emphasized NBA’s commitment to Basketball without Borders and the African continent.
The top young basketball talent from across Africa, including four players from South Africa, have been named ahead of the eleventh edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa, held in Johannesburg from Aug. 29 – Sept. 1.
Over 60 players from 25 countries will travel over 100,000 kilometers from all corners of the continent for the four-day basketball camp. Additionally, 25 elite female South African players (ages 18 and under) will take part in a four-day BWB Girls Camp, with expert instruction by former WNBA player Clarisse Machanguana (Mozambique).
The Oklahoma City Thunder represents the largest contingent of NBA players attending BWB, with Thabo Sefolosha, whose father is South African, Serge Ibaka (Congo), and Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania) being joined by Jerryd Bayless, Memphis Grizzlies; Bismack Biyombo (Congo), Charlotte Bobcats; Luol Deng (South Sudan), Chicago Bulls; Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks; Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers, and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (DRC).