NBA stars back in SA in September for programme

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

A host of National Basketball Association (NBA) stars, led by Congolese Houston Rockets centre, Dikembe Mutombo, will return to Johannesburg on September 5 for the fifth edition of the Basketball Without Borders programme.

Their five-day development and community outreach programme will take place at the American International School in Johannesburg.

This announcement was made by the NBA, the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) and Basketball South Africa (BSA).

Kathleen Behrens, who is senior vice president of the NBA Community and Player Programmes, said the global programme demonstrated the commitment of the NBA family, its teams, players and coaching staff in reaching out to communities.

Behrens added that camps exemplified the concept of using basketball to achieve a greater goal of influencing social change around the world.

Mutombo, who earlier this year received special recognition during the State of the Union Address in the United States for his charitable work, will be making his fifth consecutive trip to South Africa.

He said the programme encapsulated the best of what the NBA can offer in terms of using its players as positive role models while giving back to communities in need.

"It is a privilege - and a testament to the success of the programme - that we are once again returning to South Africa," he said.

The camp will unite the top young basketball players (ages 19 and under) from across the region. They will be selected by Fiba and participating basketball federations.

Mutombo and company will take part in motivational and life skills seminars that promote education, leadership, character development, and healthy living with an emphasis on HIV/Aids awareness and prevention.