London – May 22, 2006 – Tonight, at its 2006 Awards for Business Excellence Gala, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS will pay tribute to the role of business in the global fight against AIDS and honor the National Basketball Association (NBA) for its ongoing commitment to fighting the spread of AIDS in communities around the globe. The GBC will honor six award recipients, including the NBA, at a high-level Awards Gala in London. Speakers at the Gala and Awards ceremony will include: European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Sir Elton John and Graça Machel. CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour will serve as master of ceremonies.

The NBA is being presented with the GBC Community Award for its Global Advocacy for HIV/AIDS, including the league’s innovative implementation of the “Basketball without Borders” program. The program:

  • Sponsors camps where promising basketball players under age 19 receive training in leadership, life skills, healthy and safe living, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention;

  • Draws on widespread support from the NBA community – to date more than 120 NBA players, coaches and personnel from 29 teams have participated, guiding more than 700 young athletes from nearly 100 countries and territories;

  • Targets communities hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic, including those in Brazil, Argentina, China and South Africa;

  • Establishes a lasting presence in the communities it assists through the “Basketball without Borders Legacy Project,” which sets up Reading and Learning Centers for local NGOs to ensure that HIV/AIDS awareness is communicated on an ongoing basis.

    “We are greatly honored to have the efforts of our players, team personnel and league staff recognized by GBC, whose work in the business community in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS is so extraordinary,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “Sports has an enormous opportunity to deliver important messages on a global basis, especially to youngsters, and we pledge to keep using the worldwide appeal of our sport to continue our HIV/AIDS education programs."