News / Arts & Entertainment

NBA Players Inspire African Youths to Strive for Basketball Dreams

Multimedia

Audio

The National Basketball Association's Basketball Without Borders Africa program this year brought NBA players and coaches to Senegal where they trained some of the best young players on the continent.  The four-day camp tipped off 5 Aug in Dakar as 60 young basketball players from around the African continent gathered to learn from NBA professionals.

One of the players from Cameroon said the camp gives him hope that his dream of playing professional basketball can come true.  Longtime Basketball Without Borders supporter and former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo said the camp also is a chance for others to see what Africa has to offer the world of basketball.

Reciprocal Arrangement

"Africa is a continent that they have so much to offer," said Mutombo.  "I think it is also a continent that is waiting to be discovered. There are so many hidden treasures here in the continent of Africa that people don't know about, and I'm happy that the NBA has taken the initiative."

One of those hidden treasures who was discovered eight years ago was Luc Mbah a Moute, from Cameroon.  Now a forward for the Milwaukee Bucks, Mbah a Moute was a camper in South Africa at the first Basketball Without Borders event in Africa.  Today he attends the camp as an NBA player who trains and inspires boys whose hopes he once shared.

"When you're out here in Africa, it seems so far, the NBA," said Mbah a Moute.  "It seems not doable. So to have someone like me come back and tell them it's feasible, you guys can do it if you work hard, I think is really important."

Inspirational Instruction

Fellow Cameroonian Michel Ange Enanga is a 16-year-old point guard attending Basketball without Borders for the first time.  He said players like Mbah a Moute have inspired him along the way to keep working for his dream to one day play professional basketball.

"I think he's a great person," said Enanga about Mbah a Moute.  "He has a good heart, a big heart. And he's a good player, so I want to be like him.  I have hope for the future, because when I see it, I say to myself that you can be like him, you can be like that guy playing.  I can be, and I will be. I make my promise."

Enanga emphasizes that it is the camp that truly has made him feel closer to achieving his aspirations.

"My favorite things is training with the coach, with the NBA coaches and seeing the NBA players is great," he said. "I can touch it. I can touch it. So it's not dreaming, it's real."

Abundant Opportunities

Mutombo, who grew up in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, went on to play pro basketball in the United States for nearly 20 years, after a stellar college career at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.  He says giving other Africans an opportunity is one of the most important reasons he is involved in Basketball Without Borders.

"The reason it is so important to me and so close to my heart because, I did get a chance, an opportunity that was given to me to develop into the great basketball player that I've become," said Mutombo.  "And I felt that it was my duty to do the same thing to others, to the next generation that are coming up."

Besides drills on the court, the NBA players and coaches also spoke to the young players about life off the court.  Mutombo said that teaching AIDS awareness, community outreach and the importance of education all were essential elements of the Basketball Without Borders program.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

Avery Sunshine is known for her irresistible combination of soul, jazz and gospel influences. She’s traveled the world entertaining audiences with her powerful voice, inspiring lyrics and infectious spirit. She joins host Shawna Renee on "The Soul Lounge" to perform and share the stories behind her new album, "The Sun Room."