15 July 2013

Tanzania: Thabeet Joins 10th Basketball Without Borders Africa Camp

TANZANIAN Hasheem Thabeet is one of several current NBA players joining legend Dikembe Mutombo on the 10th edition of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa camp in Johannesburg from August 30 to September 2.

Thabeet, 26, the lone Tanzanian professional basketball player who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, will be among 20 current and former players as well as coaches.

BWB Africa will feature Thabeet, second overall pick in the 2009 draft, Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks), Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls), Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha, along with NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, as camp coaches.

They will lead a camp for 60 of the top young players from across Africa, and help build two homes in partnership with Habitat for Humanity South Africa in Orange Farm Township on August 31. Players from 26 countries will travel more than 100,000 kilometers from all ends of the African continent to descend on Johannesburg for the four-day basketball camp.

The players, including four from South Africa and one from the newly formed Republic of South Sudan, were selected by FIBA, the NBA and participating federations based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities and dedication to the sport.

A three-day girls' camp for 25 elite female South African players will run concurrently, with expert instruction by WNBA legend Chamique Holdsclaw. Both camps will feature daily life skills sessions, in partnership with UNICEF and Hoops 4 Hope, in which NBA and WNBA players will speak about the importance of education, leadership, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

Campers will be hosted by St. John's College, with the on-court action taking place at the King Edward VII's School. Adding to a partnership that began in 2007, the NBA/ WNBA contingent will help build two homes with Habitat for Humanity South Africa in Orange Farm Township on Aug. 31.

Upon completion of the houses, which are supported by the Pagliuca family, 13 homes will have been built in the country as part of NBA Cares efforts at BWB Africa. BWB is the National Basketball Association and the International Basketball Federation's global basketball development programme that uses sport to create positive social change.

The 2013 BWB schedule will feature a first-time camp in Portugal, and will return to Argentina and then South Africa. BWB Americas will tip off the summer schedule from July 25-28, with a return to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where the camp was first held in 2005. Portugal will host BWB Europe for the first time when the camp visits Almada from August 15 - 18.

Since its inception, the NBA and FIBA have staged 33 BWB camps in 20 cities in 17 countries. More than 140 different current and former NBA/ WNBA players have joined with more than 100 NBA coaches to act as mentors for more than 1,900 campers from just over 100 countries, with 27 BWB campers drafted into the NBA.

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