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Adam Simon Named Coach for Basketball Without Borders Africa

MIAMI, July 24 – The Miami HEAT announced today that Adam Simon, Director of College/International Scouting, will serve as a coach for the NBA’s Basketball without Borders camp in Johannesburg, South Africa. The camp, in conjunction with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and Basketball South Africa (BSA), will take place at the American International School of Johannesburg, September 6-10 and will feature current and former NBA players, coaches and team personnel such as 2006 NBA MVP Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns), 2006 NBA Most Improved Player Boris Diaw (Phoenix Suns), former NBA standout out Manute Bol and Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers serving as camp coaches to give basketball instruction, promote friendship, healthy living and education with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

Since its inception in 2001, Basketball without Borders, the NBA’s premier global basketball development and community outreach program, has featured more than 120 NBA players, coaches and team personnel from all 30 NBA teams as camp coaches for the more than 700 young athletes from nearly 100 different countries and territories. The NBA family and the campers have traveled more than 85 million miles and logged more than 1 million hours of community service participating in Basketball without Borders.

Joining Nash, Diaw, Bol and Rivers, will be Denver Nuggets center-forward Marcus Camby, Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo, who has led the camp since it was first staged in Johannesburg in 2003, Phoenix Suns guard Raja Bell, San Antonio Spurs forward Bruce Bowen, Dallas Mavericks teammates DeSagana Diop (Senegal) and DJ Mbenga (Congo), Chicago Bulls forward-guard Luol Deng (Sudan), Philadelphia 76ers forward Kyle Korver and Los Angeles Lakers teammates forward Luke Walton and forward Vladimir Radmanovic (Serbia and Montenegro).

Other NBA participants include Mike Brown (Cleveland), Frank Ross (Charlotte Bobcats) and Chris Wallace (Boston Celtics), Mark West (Phoenix Suns) and Fred Tedeschi (Chicago Bulls). Lance Blanks (Cleveland Cavaliers) and R.C. Buford (San Antonio Spurs), Amadou Fall (Dallas Mavericks), Masai Ujiri (Denver Nuggets) and NBA scout Joe Touomou will oversee the camp as camp directors.

Basketball without Borders Africa will unite the top young basketball players (ages 19 & under) from across the continent to take part in basketball instruction and competition. The camp’s participants are selected by FIBA and participating basketball federations based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities and dedication to the sport of basketball. One of the goals of Basketball without Borders is to help explore, develop and nurture the top basketball talent across Africa. Some campers who have participated in the program have gone on to play competitive basketball internationally and at schools in the United States.

To promote friendship and diversity, the campers will be divided into teams without regard to race and nationality. They will share living quarters with their new teammates and participate in daily motivational and life-skills seminars that promote education, leadership, character development, healthy living and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. The HIV/AIDS interactive educational seminars will be led by NBA Cares community partners, such as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the world’s leading non-governmental organization dedicated to children. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg will again partner with the NBA for community outreach activities focused on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

The camp will be highlighted by extensive community outreach activities focusing on HIV/AIDS awareness, education and grassroots basketball development. Led by NBA Legend and Community Ambassador Bob Lanier, the program includes a return visit to the Ithuteng Trust, a Youth Empowerment Program founded in 1990 by Jackey “Mama Jackey” Maarohanye, in Pimville, South Africa, where a US Embassy-funded dining hall will be opened. A new kitchen, dining hall and bathroom facility will also be inaugurated at the Soweto Kliptown Youth Trust (SKY), where a Learn & Play Center was opened last year. The event also will feature an AIDS/HIV awareness event. Last year’s event took place at the Moletsane Sports Complex in Soweto with drama presentations, personal testimonials, music, dance, and a health fair featuring mobile clinics, booths, and other information displays.

NBA and FIBA will also donate products, such as basketballs, rims and sporting goods to local basketball federations and communities. Through Basketball without Borders, five Learn & Play Centers and six new or refurbished basketball courts have been opened outside the United States and Canada. Centers are located at Vila Olimpica de Jornalista Ary de Carvalho in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Escuela Benjamín Zorrilla Distrito Escolar in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Hui Lei School in Beijing, China and at Ithuteng Trust and at SKY Trust in Johannesburg, South Africa.