A Summer Abroad with NBA Cares
Some, like the 45 different players who made it to China, went far. Some went home. Some made a single visit. Some wrapped around the globe.
Some worked with thousands. Some, with a precious few.
Some pulled noodles. Some played pickup. Some just played.
In all, dozens of current NBA players spent hundreds of combined hours helping the parts of the world with the greatest need.
Now, with the days getting shorter and the season inching closer, take a look back on how some of the game's biggest stars spent their summer.
The 13th year of Basketball Without Borders -- the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that unites young basketball players to promote the sport and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health, and wellness -- took place, once again, in three countries. Returning to South Africa and Argentina, the camp also made its way to Portugal for the first time ever.
And wherever the camps went, so did some of the biggest names -- and smallest players -- in the NBA.
Kyrie Irving (C) helps lead a Special Olympics event at BWB Africa, in Johannesburg, South Africa
- James Anderson, Chris Copeland, Carlos Delfino, Manu Ginobli, Pablo Prigioni, and Luis Scola took part in BWB Americas July 25 – 28 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
- BWB Europe was staged in Portugal for the first time (Aug. 15 – 18) in Almada with 2012-13 Bulls teammates Carlos Boozer, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Nate Robinson participating.
- BWB Africa returned to Johannesburg, South Africa for the 10th time (Aug. 29 – Sept. 1), and featured Jerryd Bayless, Bismack Biyombo, Luol Deng, Al Horford, Kyrie Irving, Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha, Hasheem Thabeet, and Dikembe Mutombo.
For more on all things BWB, head to the Basketball Without Borders home page.
The NBA 3x series features, above all, a FIBA-rules global 3-on-3 tournament.
But only if you're not interested in the music, games, celebrities and all-around civic takeover it offers, too -- not to mention the NBA Cares outreach at each spot. And all summer long, NBA stars led the way, with names like Al Horford, Anderson Varejao, Carlos Boozer, Eric Gordon, James Harden, Jrue Holiday, Kenneth Faried, Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson, Quincy Pondexter, Robin Lopez, Serge Ibaka and Taj Gibson serving as MC's for events all over the world.
Nets center Brook Lopez plays with children at the Clinton Foundation Anchor Farm Project in Malawi.
Brook Lopez missed fellow Stanford grad Chelsea Clinton by a full seven years. By the time the Nets center and his brother Robin -- now manning the post in Portland -- matriculated in Palo Alto, Clinton had already graduated, picked up a Masters in Philosophy from Oxford, got a routine makeover from Donatella Versace, worked a couple global-profile consulting gigs in New York and picked up a board position at the School of American Ballet.
- Brook Lopez, to NBA.com/Nets
So they spent the summer catching up.
After one of Lopez's representatives got him an invite to the Clinton Foundation's . In the Foundation's words:
In Malawi, the Clinton Foundation runs the Anchor Farm Project, which operates five commercial farms that partner with 21,000 neighboring smallholder farmers, providing them with access to quality inputs for maize and soy production as well as training and market access. Brook is part of a delegation that is traveling with President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton to see how Clinton Foundation projects are increasing access to health care and providing economic opportunity to families and communities in Africa.
Lopez's trip hit seven different countries and territories, spanning from South Africa to Zambia, South Korea to Zanzibar. Only Derrick Rose's nine visits outpaced the Nets big man's summer total. Check out the full list here.
Rick Reilly picked the right spokesman.
When the longtime sports columnist founded Nothing But Nets, an organization devoted to halting the spread of malaria in the third world, he convinced Steph Curry to pledge a donation for every 3-pointer he made.
Curry then went out and set the NBA single-season record for treys, hitting 272 over the 2012-13 season to establish himself as one of the game's premier threats from the outside. And with each shot, Curry sent three bed nets to Nyarugusu Refugee Camp in western Tanzania.
For every one of his NBA record-breaking 272 3-pointers last season, Stephen Curry donated three bed nets to the Nothing But Nets campaign to fight the spread of malaria in Africa.
In August, he made his way there, witnessing firsthand the daily struggles -- and the need for the nets -- in the camp.
Said Curry to Warriors TV: “You just try to use the platform the best way you can. A lot of people who watch our games may not be as aware of the problem of malaria and how preventable it is.”
By the time Chris Bosh and the ever-growing Bosh clan touched down in Mumbai, they'd already ticked off a couple destinations on the global victory lap.
Then, for a week, he became the talk of the biggest city in the world's second most-populous country.
There to spread the game and to tip off the partnership between the NBA and Magic Bus -- a deal to launch a comprehensive NBA Cares program in India, announced by NBA Commissioner David Stern himself -- Bosh spent most of his third day running a series of clinics for underserved youth.
Re-live Bosh's landmark trip at the #NamasteBosh home page at NBA.com/India.
In 2012, the Pacers enlisted George Hill's help packaging meals for a Kids Against Hunger food drive. In 2013, it became Hill's event. Starting with a drive that delivered more than 45,000 meals to children around the world in February, Hill continued the campaign with a trip to Haiti in the summer.
In a country ravaged by poverty and still reeling from two natural disasters, Hill taught hoops clinics and passed out a month's worth of food to families in need.
Long a crusader for human rights, Spanish-born Lakers star spent the end of July with UNICEF visiting Syrian refugees in Iraq.
"I met children who have fled from a tragic situation in Syria and are now urgently dependent on humanitarian aid," Gasol said in the press release. "It is shocking to learn what these children, who have been affected by the conflict in Syria, have experienced. No child should have to endure such violence and destruction, or be deprived of the basic services they need to grow and develop to fulfill their potential."
To date, nearly 2 million Syrians have fled the conflict at home for neighboring lands. To help, go to www.unicefusa.org/syria, call toll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS or text: SYRIA to 864233 to donate $10.