BWB Africa Day 1 Opens With Landmark Announcement

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum Announces Exhibition Game In Johannesburg In 2015

The 12th edition of Basketball without Borders Africa, the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and social responsibility program, officially tipped off today.

The 50 top players ages 17 and under from 20 countries across Africa converged on the American International School of Johannesburg for a week of basketball instruction, mentorship and lifeskills from some of the NBA's best. The camp also features a girls component that sees 25 of the top young female players from South Africa participate in the girl's camp with expert instruction from former WNBA players Kelley Cain and Clarisse Machanguana.

NBA players in attendance include Andrei Kirilenko (Brooklyn Nets), Tobias Harris (Orlando Magic),Terrence Jones (Houston Rockets), Amir Johnson (Toronto Raptors), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Roger Mason Jr. (formerly of the Miami Heat), and NBA Legend and Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo. NBA head coaches Dwane Casey (Toronto Raptors), Lionel Hollins (Brooklyn Nets) and Brian Shaw (Denver Nuggets) lead a group of 10 coaches and team personnel. Masai Ujiri, President & General Manager, Basketball Operations (Toronto Raptors) and a Nigeria native, will serve as camp director.

The day tipped of with the opening press conference in the presence of NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, making his first trip to South Africa and his first international trip since being named Deputy Commissioner. Also making remarks at the press conference, Amadou Gallo Fall NBA Vice President and Managing Director - Africa; Graham Abrahams, President, Basketball South Africa, Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Global Ambassador and Fikile MBalula, Minister of Sports and Recreation, South Africa.

The highlight of the press conference was the announcement by Mark Tatum that the NBA would be staging a exhibition game featuring NBA players in August 2015 in Johannesburg. The game is an evolution of the NBA's commitment to continuing to bring basketball to the continent of Africa.

Following the press conference the campers began a series of skills stations under the watchful eye of the NBA coaches, who would later select players in the BWB Draft, to determine who they would be coaching for the duration of the camp.

In the afternoon, NBA players and coaches hosted a basketball and fitness clinic for Special Olympics athletes in partnership with Special Olympics South Africa. The athletes were led through a variety of basketball drills and fitness activities during a hugely enjoyable clinic that brought smiles to everyone involved.

Later in the afternoon, the NBA players and coaches visited the Apartheid Museum, providing a moment of reflection on the horrible an oppressive Apartheid regime and the fight that eventually led to Nelson Mandela's freedom 1990 after 27 years in captivity.