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Basketball without Borders Americas dedicates NBA Cares Learn and Play Center

© UNICEF/Brazil/M.Connolly
NBA players Shawn, Varajao, Mat and Gril interacting with kids on a community visit

NBA and FIBA create lasting impression with education seminars, youth and family development and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention

New York, July 30, 2007 – The NBA and FIBA announced today that social responsibility efforts for Basketball without Borders Americas (BWB) in São Paolo, Brazil will include the creation of a Learn and Play Center, a Special Olympics clinic and a visit to Projeto AMA, a home dedicated to young children in need of medical attention. In addition, camp participants will attend daily educational life skills seminars focusing on leadership on and off the court, led by Conectas, and HIV/AIDS education and awareness, led by UNICEF.

“NBA players have a great passion for the game and for giving back to the community,” said Kathy Behrens, Senior Vice President of Community and Player Programs.  “Basketball without Borders combines the best of the NBA - community outreach and basketball development - and it allows our players to celebrate the game and make a lasting difference for those in need.”

Basketball without Borders, the league’s premier international basketball and community relations outreach program, uniquely combines basketball instruction and educational programs addressing important social issues.  In São Paulo, the camp is scheduled to take place from July 31-Aug. 3 at Esporte Clube Pinheiros with Gatorade, Nike, Spalding and Xbox as BWB Marketing Partners, and UNICEF as a community partner. A BWB marketing partner since 2002, Nike will again outfit all of the camp participants and coaches.  The participants (ages 19 and under), from more than 15 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, are selected by FIBA and the NBA in conjunction with participating basketball federations, based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities and dedication to the sport.  The NBA and FIBA will also donate clothing, educational supplies and basketball equipment to community based organizations.

“UNICEF and the NBA are striving to provide young people with accurate information on HIV/AIDS prevention to encourage them to become role models for healthy lifestyles,” said Mark Connolly, Senior Adviser for UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean.  “We recognize the immense potential of utilizing the sport of basketball and NBA players to generate real discussions about healthy living to help shape the values of young people.”

Community outreach activities will tip off on Wednesday, Aug. 1, with a Special Olympics basketball clinic for 100 Special Olympics athletes at Esporte Clube Pinheiros. The clinic will offer participating athletes the opportunity to practice their passing, shooting and rebounding skills alongside NBA players.    

Efforts will continue with the unveiling of a new NBA Cares and Nike Learn & Play Center at Coliseu Favela.  In partnership with Nike, CUFA (Central Unica das Favelas) and Rede Jovem (Youth Net) the NBA Cares Learn and Play Center will feature newly refurbished basketball courts for the community, as well as a new technology and study center equipped with 15 computers donated by Lenovo. To inaugurate the new facility, a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony, featuring current and former NBA players and coaches, will be held at the site on Thursday, Aug. 2. On Aug. 3, NBA Cares activities will culminate with a player visit to Projeto AMA, a home founded in 2000 by Hospital Samaritano to provide free medical attention to children in need.  To date, the home has successfully handled more than 76,000 visits including medical consultations, nutritionist appointments and dental care. 

© UNICEF/Brazil/M.Connolly
NBA players Shawn Marrion and Matt Bonner interacting with campers

Basketball without Borders Americas CR Activities 2007

In addition, as part of the NBA and UNICEF partnership, NBA players will tape public service messages and donate sporting goods to the Sports and Education Institute’s Sports Caravan, which aims to promote and guarantee the right to play sports for Brazilian children and adolescents living in underserved areas. 

Joining Brazilian NBA players Nenê (Denver Nuggets), Leandro Barbosa (Phoenix Suns), Anderson Varejao (Cleveland Cavaliers), Rafael Araujo (Utah Jazz) and Marcus Vinicius (New Orleans Hornets) as camp coaches will be the Philadelphia 76ers’ Samuel Dalembert (Haiti) and Kyle Korver, the Phoenix Suns’ Shawn Marion (USA), the San Antonio Spurs’ Matt Bonner (USA), the L.A. Lakers’ Luke Walton (USA), and NBA Legend Sam Perkins. NBA team personnel includes Greg Ballard and Herb Brown of the Atlanta Hawks, Alex English and Keith D’Amelio of the Toronto Raptors, Allen Lumpkin of the Philadelphia 76ers, Don Newman of the San Antonio Spurs, and Phil Weber of the Phoenix Suns. Marin Sedlacek (Serbia and Montenegro), a FIBA Expert for Europe, Asia and Africa with more than 25 years of coaching experience, will oversee as camp director.



For more information
Saskia Sorrosa, ssorrosa@nba.com
Sharon Lima, slima@nba.com


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