Mutombo leads coaching programme to SA

BASKETBALL legend Dikembe Mutombo has arrived in the country with current and other former US National Basketball Association players for the Basketball without Borders programme.

They arrived in the country on Tuesday night.

Besides coaching clinics, the week-long programme also focuses on doing community work, life-skills projects and encourages the youth to study.

Organised by the International Basketball Association and NBA, the Basketball without Borders programme starts today with Mutombo and company addressing the media in Diepsloot.

Later in the day, they will visit the Cotlands Community Centre in Soweto, which they opened in 2007 in partnership with the De Beers Foundation.

With the towering Dwight Howard also part of the NBA team, they will join the grannies from Cotlands to help plant vegetable seeds and cultivate the land. Tomorrow the NBA players and coaches, along with their guests, will take part in a Habitat for Humanity Build Day. They will be back at Kliptown Youth Trust in Soweto on Saturday. The following day, they will conduct clinics for girls at the American International School of Johannesburg. Led by former Women's National Basketball Association players Teresa Edwards and Nkeysha Sales, girls aged between 14 and 16 will take part in skill stations with the NBA players and coaches.

After the on-court action, Basketball without Borders community partner Hoops 4 Hope will run a 45-minute life-skills session for the girls focused on leading a healthy and active lifestyle.