Raptors Representatives To Take Part In Basketball Without Borders

ugust 14, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – More than 100 of the top teenage basketball players from Africa have been selected to participate in Basketball without Borders Africa, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and Basketball South Africa (BSA) announced today. Basketball without Borders, which is returning to Africa for the eighth time, is the league’s global basketball development and community outreach program, which uses sports to influence positive social change, and features dozens of current and former NBA/WNBA players and team personnel as camp coaches

The players (ages 19 and under) are from 23 countries spanning the African continent and were selected by FIBA, the NBA and participating federations based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities and dedication to the sport. Basketball without Borders Africa, which takes place Sept. 3-7, will be hosted by the American International School of Johannesburg (AISJ), the site of BWB Africa since 2003.

For the duration of the five-day event, campers will work on improving their basketball skills through drills, scrimmages, and competitions with top instruction from NBA players and coaches. Teams will be formed to promote friendship and diversity without regard to race or nationality. The campers will also participate in daily life skills sessions, in partnership with Hoops 4 Hope, in which NBA players will speak about the importance of education, leadership, healthy living and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

For the sixth consecutive year, Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo will lead the NBA and WNBA players and coaches including Sacramento Kings forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim; Milwaukee Bucks guard Charlie Bell; San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner; Washington Wizards forward Caron Butler and Oklahoma forward Nick Collison. In addition, Chicago Bulls forward Thabo Sefolosha, whose father hails from South African, WNBA legend and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Azzi and former NBA player Howard Eisley will be attending their first BWB Africa camp.

NBA coaches present will include Austin Ainge (Boston Celtics); Chad Buchanan (Portland Trailblazers); Alex English (Toronto Raptors); Mark Hughes (New York Knicks); B.J Johnson (Houston Rockets); John Loyer (Philadelphia 76ers); Jamal Mosley (Denver Nuggets); Kenny Natt (Sacramento Kings); Milt Newton (Washington Wizards), Tony Ronzone (Detroit Pistons); Stephan Silas (Golden State Warriors) and Joe Wolf (Milwaukee Bucks). Tom Abdenour (Golden State Warriors) and Keith D'Amelio (Toronto Raptors) will serve as camp trainers. Lance Blanks (Cleveland Cavaliers), R.C. Buford (San Antonio Spurs), Amadou Fall (Dallas Mavericks), Joe Touomou (Scout) and Masai Ujiri (Toronto Raptors) will once again oversee the camp as camp directors.

The camp will feature extensive community outreach activities focusing on HIV/AIDS awareness, education and grassroots basketball development. With NBA legend Bob Lanier, the league will continue it's commitment to the global community through NBA Cares activities with partners Special Olympics, Cotlands and SKY Trust. Additionally, the NBA players and coaches will partner with Habitat for Humanity South Africa to build three new homes in Johannesburg on September 6th.

Co-organized by the NBA, FIBA, and BSA, the camp features Nike, South African Airways and Spalding as BWB Marketing Partners. A Basketball without Borders marketing partner since 2002, Nike will again outfit all the camp participants and coaches with Nike footwear and apparel. South African Airways will provide transportation for players, legends, participants and NBA staff for this year's event, as part of the two-year extension of its partnership with the NBA through 2009 given their shared commitment to important social issues. EA SPORTS will host a gaming tournament for the campers