Basketball without Borders Features New Reading & Learning Center and Basketball and Books Clinic in Argentina
Posted Jun 16 2005 2:07PM
NBA and FIBA to Create a Lasting Impression with Community Outreach Emphasizing On HIV/AIDS Awareness and Education
MIAMI, FLORIDA – June 15, 2005 – The community outreach for Basketball without Borders Americas in Argentina will feature the creation of a Reading & Learning Center, a Basketball and Books Clinic and two hospital visits to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, the NBA and FIBA announced today. In addition, the camp’s participants will attend daily educational life skills seminars with a focus on HIV/AIDS education and awareness, led by UNICEF, the United Nation’s Children’s Fund.
Basketball without Borders, the league’s premier international basketball and community relations outreach program, uniquely combines basketball instruction and educational programs addressing important social issues. The camp, which features current and former NBA players and team personnel as camp coaches, is designed to promote friendship, healthy living and education through sport.
Basketball without Borders Americas, featuring Aerolineas Argentinas, McDonald’s, Molten, Nike and Spalding as BWB Marketing Partners, is scheduled to take place at the Centro Nacional de Alto Rendimiento Deportivo ( C.e.N.A.R.D.) in Buenos Aires, Argentina June 30-July 4. Argentinean natives Emanuel Ginóbili (San Antonio Spurs), Carlos Delfino (Detroit Pistons) and Andres Nocioni (Chicago Bulls) will lead a group of NBA players and team personnel as camp coaches.
“NBA players have a great passion for the game and for giving back to the community,” said NBA Legend and Community Ambassador Bob Lanier. “Basketball without Borders combines the best of the NBA - community outreach and basketball development - and brings it all over the world to touch lives and make a lasting difference.”
In Buenos Aires, community outreach activities will tip off on Friday, July 1, with an HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness event in partnership with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund at Hospital Nacional Prof. Alejandro Posadas. At the hospital, NBA players and coaches will visit with children in the pediatrics division as well as with mothers and infants affected by HIV/AIDS. The event will culminate with a visit to the hospital’s HIV/AIDS center where the players will spend time with children, teens, and new mothers, who receive treatment at the center.
“The NBA and FIBA’s program, Basketball without Borders, provides young leaders, and the countries and communities they represent with unique opportunities to demonstrate that young people know how to stop the AIDS epidemic and with the right role models and opportunities, they can change the course of AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Mark Connolly, Regional Adviser, HIV/AIDS, UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean Regional Office. “The NBA and FIBA's leadership and concern about AIDS is one of the most welcome additions to community and national responses to AIDS that young people could wish for.”
One of the highlights of Basketball without Borders is the NBA Legacy Project, featuring the creation of a Reading & Learning Center, at the Escuela Benjamín Zorrilla Distrito Escolar 8 on Saturday, July 2. It will include the development of a multimedia room and a library, complete with more than 2,500 books and educational materials from Scholastic as well as a donation of desktop computers and printers. Horacio Muratore, President of the Argentina Basketball Confederation (CABB) and Claudio Morresi, Secretary of Sports, will join Ginóbili, Delfino, Nocioni and former NBA player Felipe Lopez to commemorate the Reading & Learning Center.
As a part of the NBA’s Read to Achieve program, the NBA and its teams have created Reading & Learning Centers that provide access to reading materials and technology for young people. To date, the NBA and its teams have created 100 Reading & Learning Centers and more than 200 Reading Corners to enhance local reading programs around the globe. This will mark the third to open outside the United States and Canada. As part of Basketball without Borders, the first international center opened in 2003 at Ithuteng Trust in Johannesburg, South Africa. The second center was created at Vila Olimpica de Jornalista Ary de Carvalho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2004 in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association.
On Monday, July 4, t he NBA will head to Ginóbili’s hometown of Bahía Blanca for a variety of community activities. The NBA group, led by Ginóbili, will start with a visit to Hospital Municipal de Agudos, which is located around the corner from Ginóbili’s childhood home. The visit will include a press conference. Following the hospital visit, there will be a Basketball and Books Clinic at Club Bahiense del Norte for children from two local homes for orphans. The Argentinean native will also host an autograph signing session at Paseo del Sol.
Other NBA players taking part in Basketball without Borders Americas include Philadelphia 76ers Samuel Dalembert ( Haiti), Daniel Santiago (Milwaukee Bucks) and Houston Rockets Dikembe Mutombo ( Congo). NBA team personnel Jarinn Arkana (Denver Nuggets), Alvin Gentry (Phoenix Suns), Michael Malone (New York Knicks) and Danny Ferry (San Antonio Spurs) also will help coach the camp. Former Argentine national teammates Marcelo Milanesio and Pepe Sanchez also will take part. Marin Sedlacek (Serbia and Montenegro), who is a FIBA Expert for Europe, Asia and Africa with 25 years of coaching experience, will oversee as camp director. The camp’s participants (ages 19 & under) from more than 12 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean were selected by FIBA, in conjunction with participating basketball federations, based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities and dedication to the sport.
The inaugural Basketball without Borders took place in Europe in July 2001. Since then, Basketball without Borders has expanded its reach to four continents. In addition to Argentina, the first Basketball without Borders Asia will take place in Beijing, China July 14-17. In its fifth year, Basketball without Borders Europe will take place July 28-31. The second annual Basketball without Borders Africa will return to Johannesburg, South Africa Sept. 7-12. To date, more than 440 youngsters from 72 different countries and territories have taken part in the NBA and FIBA program.