NBA Legends Reunite to Give Back During 2011 Basketball Without Borders Europe

-- Community Outreach Highlighted by a ‘Make a Difference Day’ in partnership with Slovene Philanthropy and Students from Slovenia and Western Balkan Countries --

-- Slovenia to Host BWB Europe Commemorating the Inaugural Camp in 2001
Uniting Youth from Former Yugoslav Republics --

Ljubljana, August 1, 2011 – Led by NBA legends and coaches, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and FIBA’s 2011 Basketball without Borders (BWB) Europe will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Aug. 8 – 11, featuring grassroots basketball development and hands-on community service. The legends will include Serbia native Vlade Divac, who was instrumental in creating the original BWB program, and Slovenia native Rasho Nesterovic. With support from the Basketball Federation of Slovenia, Zavod Sport Ljubljana and the City of Ljubljana, the camp will celebrate the program’s 10th anniversary and touch the lives of local youth through a variety of NBA Cares events.

BWB Europe is the first camp to be held in one of the former Yugoslav republics and will unite youth from more than 25 European countries. The 2001 inaugural camp, held in Treviso, Italy, featured 50 campers from former Yugoslav republics. In addition to NBA Legends Divac and Nesterovic, the camp will reunite many of the other original NBA players who coached during the inaugural camp, including Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia), Bruno Sundov (Croatia), and Dragan Tarlac (Serbia).

The community outreach events will tip off on Aug. 8 with a basketball clinic for 65 Special Olympics athletes on the court at Tivoli Hall. NBA legends and coaches will instruct the athletes on basketball fundamentals and drills including dribbling, passing, and shooting. The NBA’s global relationship with Special Olympics began more than 30 years ago when the league helped to introduce basketball to the organization. The NBA and its teams have since partnered with Special Olympics to host clinics in countries around the world including China, England, France, Italy, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, and Turkey.

A highlight of the camp, Make a Difference Day on Tuesday, Aug. 9, will feature NBA legends, coaches and guests working with Slovene Philanthropy’s International Youth Volunteers School at the Osnova sola Livada primary school in Ljubljana. The International Youth Volunteers School teaches students from Slovenia and Western Balkan countries about the importance of volunteerism, community service, and leadership. Members of the NBA family will roll up their sleeves alongside the students to revamp the school yard through a variety of hands-on service projects including landscaping, basketball court refurbishments, painting of murals and more.

On Aug. 10, the NBA legends will visit with young patients at University Children’s Hospital. The legends will make room visits and spend time with patients in the recreation room. The Children’s Hospital is part of the University Medical Centre Ljubljana and serves as the main institution in Slovenia for the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents.

In addition to BWB community events, the NBA legends will lead daily Life Skills seminars for the BWB campers. Working with SPOLINT Institute of Sport Development the seminars will address key topics including fair play, teamwork, sportsmanship and tolerance in sports, along with health-related issues. The NBA will also make donations such as school supplies, books, clothing, and basketball equipment to its community partners.

Basketball without Borders Europe is one of three BWB camps to be held this summer as the program celebrates its 10th anniversary. Camps tipped off on July 29 with Basketball without Borders Americas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On Sept. 1, Basketball without Borders Africa will be returning to Johannesburg, South Africa, for the eighth time after being held in Senegal last year.

Nike, a Basketball without Borders marketing partner since 2002, will again outfit all the camp participants and coaches with Nike footwear and apparel.
  • 50
    ...of the best players in Europe in attendance
  • 25
    ...countries represented
  • 11
    ...NBA Legends coaching the four teams
  • Dalibor Bagaric
    Selected 24th overall in the 2000 Draft after a stellar run in Croatia, the 7-foot-1 Bagaric played for the Bulls until 2003, when he returned to Europe.
  • Zarko Carbarkapa
    Drafted 17th overall by Phoenix in 2003, Carbarkapa also spent time with the Warriors during his three-year NBA career. Before coming to the NBA, he won a 2002 World Championship title with the former Yugoslavia.
  • Vlade Divac
    Part of the first wave of Europeans to flood into the NBA, the Serbian-born Divac became one of only six players in NBA history to record 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocked shots.
  • Predrag 'Peja' Drobnjak
    The two-time World Champion and European gold medalist with the former Yugoslavian team played four years in the NBA, after going in the second round to the Wizards in the 1997 Draft.
  • Bostjan 'Boki' Nachbar
    The swingman played six years in the NBA after being selected 15th overall by the Rockets in 2002. Currently in Turkey, he won the Italian Championship in 2002.
  • Radoslav 'Rasho' Nesterovic
    The Slovenian-born 7-footer came to the NBA in 1999, when he went 17th overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He won an NBA title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2005, and returned to Europe for the 2010-11 season following a stint with the Raptors.
  • Zarko Paspalj
    Although his NBA career was short, the World Champ and three-time European gold-medalist became one of the first Europeans to ever play in The Association when he joined the Spurs in 1989.
  • Dino Radja
    Radja won back-to-back European titles with his club team in 1989 and 1990, two European gold medals with former Yugoslavia and played his way onto the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1993.
  • Bruno Sundov
    Born in Croatia, Sundov played for five teams during his NBA career, in addition to nine more European teams after finishing his NBA tenure with the New York Knicks in 2005.
  • Dragan Tarlac
    Selected in the 1995 Draft by the Chicago Bulls, the one-time Euroleague champion and FIBA gold-medalist played a year in the NBA after a brilliant career with Olympiacos in Greece.
  • Milos Vujanic
    Drafted by the Knicks in the 2002 NBA Draft, the sharp-shooting Vujanic led the Euroleague in scoring in 2003 and took home a gold medal for former Yugoslavia in the 2002 World Championships.
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