Image of Luc Mbah A Moute of Basketball Without Borders

Basketball Without Borders Holds Special Meaning To Mbah A Moute

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LOS ANGELES – Basketball without Borders is more than an NBA community outreach program to Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute.

It’s, in some ways, where his basketball dreams became tangible.

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The Cameroon native was a camper at the inaugural BWB Africa camp in 2003. Given what it meant to him, Mbah a Moute always makes it a point to stay involved in the program, which this summer meant traveling to Angola to help teach at the camp.

“I go back every year and talk to the kids,” Mbah a Moute said. “You know, just kind of keep the dream alive for them, and make sure they understand the dream is true. I’ve done it; I’ve gone through the whole path, being in their shoes, then going to high school here in the U.S., college, and then being in the NBA now.”

BWB’s goal is to promote the NBA while encouraging positive social change in education, health and wellness worldwide. It brings the top youth players from the area together to receive training from current and former NBA players and coaches.

This summer, the top 87 boys and girls from 27 African countries traveled to the first BWB Africa camp in Angola from Aug. 31-Sept. 3 at Pavilhão Multiusos do Kilamba in Luanda.

Mbah a Moute, who still remembers being a teenage camper with NBA aspirations when he attended 13 years ago in South Africa, was among a group of NBA and FIBA players and coaches teaching the kids, which also included Bismack Biyombo, Eric Bledsoe, Salah Mejri, Thabo Sefolosha and Cody Zeller.

They were joined by NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, as well as former NBA players Charlie Bell, Jason Collins and Olumide Oyedeji and former WNBA players Astou Ndiaye-Diatta and Jenn Lacy. In addition, Pelicans general manager Dell Demps and Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri served as camp directors.

Mbah a Moute said he spent about a month and a half in Africa this summer, and every year he tries to make it a point to return, largely to help with camps.

“It’s always great when you see the kids,” Mbah a Moute said. “They identify with you, because you've actually been there. You know what they go through on a regular day, whether it’s basketball-wise, lifestyle-wise, you know because you’re from there.”

And that’s not an anomaly.

Mbah a Moute is one of 21 former BWB campers and one of a record 10 African players who were on opening-night NBA rosters last season. The BWB program began in 2001 in Europe and has since staged 46 camps in 23 countries on six continents, hosting more than 2,500 participants. 

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