Russian NBA players on hand to welcome young players and coaches to game on January 20th as part of bilateral exchange

BROOKLYN (January 19, 2016) - The Brooklyn Nets will be hosting the winners of a full scholarship to visit Russia as part of the SportsUnited: Basketball Ambassadors of Today and Tomorrow program, designed to promote peer-to-peer exchange between young basketball players and coaches in the US and Russia. They will attend tomorrow's game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center arena. 

The group of 14 non-elite high-school basketball players (male and female) and 3 high-school basketball coaches will spend 10 days in Russia, enjoying basketball and cultural experiences designed to promote greater understanding (participant list attached). A group of 31 Russian non-elite coaches will then travel to the United States for professional exchange with their American counterparts.  

Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said: "We are delighted to host the Basketball Ambassadors at tomorrow's game. The importance of cross-cultural exchange cannot be underestimated.  We need to spend time talking with one another, formally and informally, and a shared love of the great game of basketball is the perfect place to start. I wish the American coaches and young players a wonderful trip to Russia and look forward to hosting the Russian participants in March."

The Program was established by the New York-based Russian American Foundation (RAF) in collaboration with former Nets player and current head of the Russian Basketball Federation Andrei Kirilenko's initiative School 2.0. 

RAF Vice President Rina Kirshner said: "Giving the citizens of our two countries an opportunity to learn from each other and realize that we share the same goals and hopes for the future is at the center of all of RAF's programs.  We are thrilled to empower New York's students and coaches, through the common bond of basketball, in becoming ambassadors of their own country and learning about the Russian culture and people."

All three Russian NBA players have lent their support to the Program. Sergey Karasev (Nets), Timofey Mozgov (Cavaliers), and Sasha Kaun (Cavaliers) will meet with the participants following the game.