Babykutty, Kerala, 1st Aug’15: Jeevanraj Sebastian, the Physical Education teacher from CMI Public School, Thevara was chosen as the Best Physical Education teacher by the NBA from the 150 schools that took part in the Jr NBA Program- Inspire Youth to Play Basketball in 2014 in Kerala. He left for South Africa to participate in the NBA’s 13th edititon of Basketball Without Borders; a Basketball Development camp by NBA to be held at Johannesburg, South Africa from July 26t to August 1 2015. He joined five others who were chosen from different cities. Together they travelled to South Africa to attend the program. He is the first lucky Physical Education teacher from Kerala who got the opportunity to witness the first NBA Exhibition Game which will include Luol Deng and Chris Paul.
Basketball without Borders (BWB) is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program that unites young basketball players to promote the sport and encourage positive social change in the areas of education, health, and wellness.
The top youth players (19 yrs and under) from Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa, as selected by the NBA, FIBA and other participating federations, will train under NBA players and coaches. To promote friendship and diversity, the campers are divided into teams without regard to race and nationality. The program has also reached countless others through its community relations outreach efforts in each region.
Deputy Commissioner, Mark Tatum made the announcement in Johannesburg that NBA will be staging an exhibition game on 1st August. He also mentioned that all proceeds from the game will go to charity. The game will take place at the Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa the tickets for which have already sold out.
The five coaches reached South Africa and were received by Carlos Barocca (NBA India’s Director). Thereafter, they spent their day visiting the Jr NBA Program in Bafokeng and interacted with the participants. Next day, they visited the Museum of Apartheid and Nelson Mandela’s Foundation.
As part of BWB and NBA Africa Game efforts, NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program, and the NBPA Foundation will host a series of events to leave a lasting legacy in the community. With support from Ford, local youth participated in a Jr. NBA clinic on Wednesday, July 29 at the American International School of Johannesburg. Also at the school, Hoops 4 Hope conducted life skills sessions presented by South African Airways. NBA/FIBA players, coaches and legends will hold sessions on leadership and health and wellness for BWB campers throughout the week.
Friday, July 31 marked the third consecutive year that NBA/FIBA players visited SOS Children’s Village, Ennerdale, an organization that builds families for orphaned and abandoned children. NBA Cares and the NBPA Foundation have undertaken their biggest commitment to the village, working on a range of projects from the refurbishment of the local library to the construction of a new basketball court.
BWB campers will be outfitted with the latest footwear and apparel from NIKE, a BWB global partner since 2002.
BWB Africa will gather the top 59 players from across Africa born in 1998 to learn from eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers; U.S.), two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng (Miami Heat; born in South Sudan), two-time NBA Champion Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls; Spain), two-time NBA All-Star Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies; Spain), Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.; parents from Nigeria), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; parents from Nigeria), Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets; France; parent from Cameroon), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards; U.S.), Bismack Biyombo (Toronto Raptors; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Trey Burke (Utah Jazz; U.S.), Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs; France; parent from Senegal), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal), Festus Ezeli (Golden State Warriors; Nigeria), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets; U.S.), Jeff Green (Memphis Grizzlies; U.S.), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder; Congo), Luc Mbah a Moute (most recently with the Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon), Nazr Mohammed (most recently with the Chicago Bulls; parents from Ghana), Evan Turner (Boston Celtics; U.S.) and Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic; Montenegro).
NBA/FIBA executives, coaches, and general managers will also participate, including NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, FIBA President Horacio Muratore, FIBA Africa President Niang Hamane, FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bile, 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins, Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King, San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich and Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens, San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford and Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri will be the camp directors.
Current and former NBA/FIBA assistant coaches and trainers who will participate include David Fizdale (Miami Heat), Patrick Hunt (President, World Association of Basketball Coaches), Ed Pinckney (Denver Nuggets), Patrick Mutombo, Eric Waters (Washington Wizards), Keon Weise (Orlando Magic), and Monty Williams (Oklahoma City Thunder).
The following is a complete list of players participating in BWB Africa 2015 in Johannesburg:
|Country||First Name||Last Name|
|Burkina Faso||Haled Ousmane Axel||Kabore|
|Cameroon||Laurent Serge||Matje Nguini|
|Cameroon||Ghislain Landry||Bilong Nyoung|
|Cape Verde||António Pedro||Carvalho Junior|
|Central Africa Rep.||Koyamba||Privat Da Saint Maxime|
|DRC/South Africa||Florent Grace||Thamba|
|Ivory Coast||Aisba Abdul Chardel||Gogua|
|Mozambique||Igor Bvunzai Fulane||Eliseu|
|Senegal||Sidi Abdel Hady||Seydi|
|Senegal||Pape Abdoulaye Reymond||Dieng|
|South Sudan||Madit Thieny||Dak|
|Tunisia||Mohamed Abdel Kader||Jannedi|