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Lakers in Africa: An Unforgettable Experience for Pelinka, Kareem, McGee, and Deng
On Sunday, several members of the Lakers organization completed their journey throughout South Africa as ambassadors of the NBA.
General Manager Rob Pelinka, forward Luol Deng, center JaVale McGee and Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar took part in many different charitable initiatives and panels, culminating with the 2018 NBA Africa Game on Saturday in Pretoria.
Cheered on by Pelinka from the sidelines and with McGee in the starting lineup, the World Team faced the Deng-led Team Africa. Both players had solid contributions to their respective squads, with the real winners being the countless kids in the stands at the Sun Arena in Time Square.
It was all good fun in the spirit of competition.
The World Team earned the win led by McGee and L.A. Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari, a graduate of the Basketball Without Borders program. The Italian finished with 23 points and eight boards en route to MVP honors.
On top of getting the W, McGee said he was proud of extending the undefeated streak for the World Team – winners of the 2015 and ’17 editions in Johannesburg.
In the stands, NBA royalty like Abdul-Jabbar and Dikembe Mutumbo also enjoyed the action.
HELPING THOSE WHO NEED IT MOST
During the days leading up to the game, McGee was very active, participating in several activities throughout the region.
One of them was in partnership with Juglife Water, an organization that promotes access to clean water around the world.
Yet, he saved some time to take part in the viral #InMyFeelingsChallenge based on Drake’s song.
KAREEM & DENG AT THE NELSON MANDELA FOUNDATION
Heading into the weekend, both Abdul-Jabbar and Deng participated at an event at the Nelson Mandela Foundation alongside Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, among others.
It was a panel centered around the topic of innovation.
DENG, MCGEE IN HARD HATS
Both members of Luke Walton’s squad were more than willing to lend a hand.
McGee and Deng participated in an event led by the National Basketball Players Association, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Habitat for Humanity, helping to build houses in Lawley Extension, south of Johannesburg.
…AND THERE HAD TO BE A SAFARI
Before heading home, McGee also stopped by the Lion & Safari Park.
His favorite animal? The cheetah.
“It's so fast and agile, it reminds me of myself,” he claimed.
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