NBA, WNBA and FIBA stars gathered at the American International School in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday for the opening ceremony of “Basketball Without Borders Africa”. It comes ahead of the match between team World and team Africa in Pretoria on Saturday, August 4.
Masai Ujiri is President of the Toronto Raptors.
“It’s always great to be back on the continent and I’m always back on the continent, but “Basketball Without Borders” is special to me and it’s one of the things I didn’t dream of 16 years ago, that it was this big. As for giving back to the kids, you hope they get something out of it, you know, back home”, Ujiri said.
This edition brought together 81 young people, comprising 56 boys and 25 girls aged 17. Cameroonian Joel Embiid and Congolese Bismack Biyombo were among the stars present at the camp.
“When I looked at myself in 2011, I was that kid… I mean, being with all the players I was like – Oh my God – it was crazy, I was a little shocked so I now, now that I’m in this position, to make them feel comfortable, to let them know they can ask a lot of questions, because at the end of the day, I’m there for them. I’ve decided to do it every year since last year because I just want to be around them”, said Philadelphia 76ers player, Joel Embiid.
The Basketball Without Borders camp will be followed by the NBA Africa Game in Pretoria on Saturday August 4. It’s a game that pits one selection of African players against another from the rest of the world.