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BWB Africa Day 5

September 6, 2009 - It was all basketball on the final day of BWB Africa 2009, with a women’s clinic starting things off in the morning led by former WNBA players Nkeysha Sales and Teresa Edwards. Sixty girls from Basketball South Africa ran through passing, shooting and dribbling drills. After the on-court action, Hoops 4 Hope ran a life skills session for the girls teaching the importance of teamwork and leadership.

The BWB campers played their last games with their teams and the Houston Rockets, coached by Dikembe Mutombo, Teresa Edwards and BJ Johnson, finished in first place in the camp tournament.

The campers waited eagerly for the All-Star announcement and Nigeria and Senegal had the most representation with six and five respectively. BJ Johnson coached Team Black to a 44-31 victory over Team White. After the game, individual camp award winners were announced as follows:

Nike Camp MVP - Gorgui Sky Dieng (Senegal)
Nike All-Star MVP - Cyril Bilong (Cameroon)
Sprite High Flyer - Godwin Ikonshul (Nigeria)
South African Airways - Amro Sherif Mohamed Abd El Halim (Egypt Frequent Flyer Award)

The campers then had a final chance to say their goodbyes and trade email addresses with their new found friends at the end-of-camp barbeque.

BWB Africa - Day 4, September 5, 2009 - Yesterday the players and coaches saw the impoverished townships of Soweto from the window of the bus on the way to the Habitat for Humanity build. Today, they experienced life in a township first-hand as they were led on a tour through Kliptown. Along the way, children of Soweto Kliptown Youth (SKY) Trust performed skits and treated to the players to traditional African dances.

One thing stood out as they walked past tin shacks, streams of garbage and shoeless children – the spirit of the people of Soweto. The children reached out for players hands and the people of the community welcomed the BWB group to their neighborhood. After an energetic performance by the PT group, the players and coaches helped sat with the children in the dining hall as they ate.

“The light and spirit of the people of Kliptown was amazing and I was truly humbled to be here today,” said Chris Bosh.

Camp wraps up tomorrow with the hotly anticipated All-Star game. Talent is deep this year and it is certain the campers will put on an impressive show of basketball talent

BWB Africa - Day 3, September 4, 2009 -When the players and coaches signed on for Basketball without Borders, they knew they were going to be working hard in the gym. What they didn’t know is that they would be working even harder in the community.

The BWB contingent, including their guests, spent the afternoon in Ivory Park township in Soweto helping to build four houses for Habitat for Humanity South Africa. It was the first time in a township for many of the players and coaches as they drove past acres and acres of tin shacks and burning piles of garbage. For these families, these houses will be the first they have ever lived in. Generations from now, the player’s hard work will be forever tied to the community in Ivory Park.

Upon completion of these four homes, the NBA will have built 9 homes with Habitat for Humanity since 2007.

The day wrapped up with a reception at the new US Embassy hosted by the even newer US Ambassador, who only arrived in Johannesburg two weeks ago. The reception was jointly hosted by the US Embassy and ESPN.

A Special Visitor

South African National Team and Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune stopped by the American International School of Johannesburg to challenge the NBA professionals to a quick penalty shoot-out. Dikembe Mutombo impressed everyone with his juggling skills, but his goalkeeping left room for improvement. Dirk Nowtizki tried his hand at a penalty shot and didn’t even come close, with the ball ending up in a tree.

BWB Africa - Day 2, September 3, 2009 - Basketball without Borders Africa 2009 officially tipped off this morning with the opening press conference. A special highlight was the standing ovation Luc Mbah A Moute received from all in attendance when he addressed the group.

“This camp changed my life,” Mbah A Moute said. “Three weeks after this camp I left for the U.S. and started my dream. That’s why I’m back here today to tell you this is a great experience, take advantage of it.”

In the first full day of basketball activities, the campers were broken down into their teams and ran through skills stations with the NBA players and coaches. In the afternoon, the coaches ran their teams through a brief practice session before they hit the court for their first set of games.

Gardening was the focus of the afternoon as the NBA players and their guests visited the Cotlands Home Based Care Facility in Soweto, which was created during BWB 2007 in partnership with the DeBeers Foundation. The NBA group was all hands on deck to help create a sustainable food garden. Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard took the reigns in planting a peach tree while others dug trenches or planted vegetables. The food grown in the garden will be used to supplement meals at the facility and will also be sold to generate income for the grannies that rely on Cotlands.

BWB Africa - Day 1, September 2, 2009 - “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” - Nelson Mandela

Before the NBA players and coaches sampled the rich basketball talent of Africa, they first had a lesson on the storied past of South Africa at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.

Beginning in 1948, the white elected National Party government implemented the policy of apartheid which turned 20 million people into second class citizens, damning them to a life of servitude, humiliation and abuse. Between 1948 and 1971, over 150 laws were passed to further widen the gap between whites and blacks such, as the Immorality Act (1950) which outlawed sex and marriage across racial lines and the Reservation of Separate Amenities Act (1953) which prohibited different racial groups from using the same public facilities like toilets, parks or beaches.

After almost 10,000 days in prison, political activist Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990 paving the way for a non-racial, democratic South Africa.

It wasn’t until the election of prisoner turned President Nelson Mandela in 1994 that people were liberated and the nation began healing its wounds.

The Apartheid museum illustrates the story of the system and the struggle to overthrow its tyranny.

A moving and eye-opening experience for the players, the visit proved to be a fitting and poignant start to BWB Africa.

Meanwhile on court…

Having come from all corners of the continent, the BWB Africa campers hit the gym to warm up for the next four days of intense basketball instruction. NBA coaches attended the evaluation scrimmages in the afternoon where they scouted the players to draft to their teams for competition throughout the camp.

The first Lifeskills Seminar focused on Camp Orientation that included the rules of the camp and the structure of the coming days. Former camper Luc Mbah a Moute gave a motivational first-hand account of his camp memories from back in 2003 when he was a young 16-year old hopeful from Cameroon. Six years later, Luc becomes the first former camper to return to BWB Africa as a NBA player.

Later that evening, as a special treat for the campers, the US Ambassador to South Africa hosted all 60 participants at his residence in Pretoria for a barbeque and an impromptu basketball game on his private basketball.

NEW YORK, June 4, 2009 – U.S. Olympians Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, and Dwight Howard will headline Basketball without Borders 2009 it was announced today by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). Basketball without Borders (BWB) is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program that uses the sport to create positive social change in the areas of education, health and wellness. The camps will be held in Beijing, China, Mexico City, Mexico and Johannesburg, South Africa. Read More

  • Going back to root of dreams - Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
  • BWB Africa 2008

    JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 7, 2008 – The sixth edition of Basketball without Borders Africa wrapped up today under the blazing African sun. For the first time ever, a clinic was held for young girls under the expert tutelage of former WNBA player Jennifer Azzi. The clinic, run in partnership with Hoops for Hope, featured young girls from the surrounding communities and involved the NBA players and coaches as they taught the basic fundamentals of shooting, passing, dribbling and defense.

    JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 6, 2008 – The Basketball without Borders train rolled on today as the group gathered at the American International School of Johannesburg for a final morning of skill sessions with the coaches and players. For the fifth year in a row, the NBA players and coaches were treated to a tour of Kliptown, a ghetto in the township of Soweto. The tour attracted the attention of many as it made its way through small dirt streets strewn with glass and litter.

    JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 5, 2008 – If home is where the heart is, the NBA players and coaches can now claim Orange Farm Township as their home. This afternoon, the group was in the poverty stricken township neighborhood put their heart and hard-work into building three homes with Habitat for Humanity. Alongside the future homeowners, Dikembe Mutombo and Shareef Abdur-Rahim mixed cement as Caron Butler and Charlie Bell passed bricks. Matt Bonner, Jennifer Azzi, Thabo Sefolosha, Nick Collison, and Bob Lanier all showed off their bricklaying technique as the walls of the houses grew higher and higher. At the end of the build, the three houses were nearer to completion and three families were closer to having safe, comfortable housing.

    JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 4, 2008 – The first full day of Basketball without Borders began with a tip-off press conference this morning at the American International School of Johannesburg here in South Africa. All of the players, coaches, and campers were on hand to celebrate the sixth installment of the BWB camp. After a photo session and interviews, the players ran the campers through stretches before coaching them in their morning skill sessions.

    JOHANNESBURG, Sept. 3, 2008 – On day one of Basketball without Borders Africa 2008, the NBA players and coaches were introduced to the history of South Africa and the community of Johannesburg with visits to the Apartheid Museum and Cotlands pediatric AIDS hospice. For 43 years, South Africa was in the grips of the Apartheid system which classified citizens based on the color of their skin. The NBA players and coaches walked through history starting with the roots of Apartheid beginning with the first settlers through to the peaceful resolution of the modern day government led by Nelson Mandela and the ANC.

    Read More from South Africa | Photo Gallery: Basketball without Borders Africa 2008


    American International School of Johannesburg
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    September 2-6


    Chris Bosh
    USA • Toronto Raptors

    Dwight Howard
    USA • Orlando Magic

    Luc Mbah a Moute
    USA • Milwaukee Bucks

    Bob Lanier
    USA • NBA Legend

    Dikembe Mutombo
    CONGO • Houston Rockets

    Jason Maxiell
    USA • Detroit Pistons

    Vladimir Radmanovic
    SERBIA • Charlotte Bobcats

    Nate Robinson
    USA • New York Knicks

    DJ Mbenga
    Congo • Los Angeles Lakers

    Teresa Edwards
    USA • Former WNBA Player

    Nykesha Sales
    USA • Former WNBA Player