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Scramble for NBA; Kenya gets only one boys’ slot in ambitious camp

LITTLE is known about budding basketballer, Ricky Omondi Okeyo, the only Kenyan in an ambitious United States NBA (National Basketball Association) initiative to unearth best boys’ and girls’ talent in Africa.

The NBA plans a training camp for 60 boys and girls aged under 17 in Dakar, Senegal where the NBA has already set up headquarters from where a-soon-to-be-launched competition for African teams by the NBA will be managed.

Top: America basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabar demonstrates his famed sky-hook shot to young players in the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) programme, including those from Africa. Above: US President Barack Obama with young players in a basketball clinic in Kenya

Top: America basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabar demonstrates his famed sky-hook shot to young players in the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) programme, including those from Africa. Above: US President Barack Obama makes a shot while inaugurating a basketball facility for young players in Kenya. Below, President of the United Sates (POTUS) Obama meets aspiring players

The NBA-style competition for 12 African teams has received wild competition for inclusion by the leading African countries with top basketball talent including Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo,

Cameroon, Nigeria and Egypt. Others like the well-organised Rwanda, despite a small population and limited talent are putting up spirited efforts to a franchise based in Kigali being included. President Paul Kagame personally leads the initiative and the country is putting up a 10,000 seat auditorium hoping to attract the NBA decision makers.

Meanwhile, the NBA and FIBA (Federation of International Basketball Associations) and the Senegalese Basketball Federation have announced the top 60 boys and girls ages 17 and under from 29 African countries who will participate in the 17th edition of Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa when the camp returns to Senegal from Sunday, July 28 – Wednesday, July 31.

From left; Amadou Gallo Fall, President for NBA Africa; Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan and NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum at the announcement of the Basketball Africa League

From left; Amadou Gallo Fall, Vice- President, managing director NBA Africa and President Basketball Africa League (BAL); Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan and NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum at the announcement of the Basketball Africa League

The BWB, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program, will be held at The NBA Academy Africa in Saly and at Dakar Arena, with NIKE serving as the official partner.

The Kenyan boy, Okeyo, finds himself as the only participant from his country. Many countries have slots for up to four players in both categories.

The campers will be coached by former and current NBA players, including:

– two-time NBA All-Star Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) Cameroon

– two-time NBA Champion Chris Bosh (U.S.)

– 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers; U.S.)

– two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng’ (most recently with the Minnesota Timberwolves; South Sudan

Gorgui Dieng’ (Timberwolves) Senegal

Luc Mbah a Moute (most recently with the LA Clippers) Cameroon

Tacko Fall (Boston Celtics) Senegal

–  Makhtar Ndiaye (former NBA player) Senegal

Boniface Ndong’ (former NBA player) Senegal

– and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo

Joining the NBA players will be:

– 2003 WNBA Champion and NBA Academy Africa Associate Technical Director, Astou Ndiaye (Senegal)

– Mozambique basketball legend and former WNBA player, Clarisse Machanguana

former NBA player and Philadelphia 76ers General Manager, Elton Brand (U.S.)

– former NBA player and Capital City Go-Go General Manager, Pops Mensah-Bonsu (UK/Ghana)

– and former NBA player and 76ers Technical Scout, Ruben Boumtje Boumtje (Cameroon)

 

One of Africa’s inspiration in the game of basketball is Maasai Ujiri (left), the Nigerian-born leader whose Canada’s Toronto Raptors recently won the US NBA (National Basketball Association) title. Ujiri is with one of Africa’s top sports broadcasters, Robert Marawa of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

One of Africa’s inspiration in the game of basketball is Masai Ujiri (left), the Nigerian-born President of basketball operation, Canada’s Toronto Raptors who recently won the US NBA (National Basketball Association) title. Ujiri is with one of Africa’s top sports broadcasters, Robert Marawa of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)

Also NBA head coaches Kenny Atkinson (Nets), Doc Rivers (Clippers) and David Fizdale (New York Knicks), and current NBA assistant coaches DeSagana Diop (Utah Jazz; Senegal), B.J. Johnson (Houston Rockets), Vince Legarza (Jazz), Patrick Mutombo (Toronto Raptors) and Miles Simon (LA Lakers), will also serve as BWB Africa 2019 coaches.  Raptors President of basketball operations Masai Ujiri (Nigeria) and World Association of Basketball Coaches President and FIBA Technical Commission Chair Patrick Hunt (Australia) will be the camp directors.  A number of NBA front office personnel will also participate.

Players and coaches will lead the campers through a variety of activities, including movement efficiency, positional skill development, shooting and skills competitions, 5-on-5 games, and daily life skills seminars focusing on health, leadership and communication.  One boy and one girl will be named BWB Africa Camp Most Valuable Players at the conclusion of the camp.

Rwanda’s 10,000 sear basketball facility – Kigali Arena – is a forerunner of the country’s bid to be included in the NBA Africa. Below: President Paul Kagame in another function for the promotion of big-time basketball in Rwanda

The almost construction complete Rwanda’s 10,000 seat basketball facility – Kigali Arena – is a forerunner of the country’s bid to be included in the NBA Basketball Africa League (BAL). Below: President Paul Kagame  (left) in another function for the promotion of big-time basketball in Rwanda

NIKE, a global partner of BWB since 2002, will outfit the campers and coaches with NIKE apparel and footwear.

Through NBA Cares and the Jr. NBA, BWB Africa community outreach efforts in Senegal will use the power of sport to promote cultural understanding while teaching the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle and values of the game like teamwork, integrity and respect.  In partnership with BWB Africa’s longstanding partner Hoops 4 Hope, campers, players, and coaches will take part in two interactive life skills seminars designed to teach leadership and communication skills and share information about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Highlighting the week’s community efforts, the NBA and SEED Project will host a dedication ceremony for two newly refurbished courts in the Ndiareme Limamoulaye district of Guediawaye in Dakar on Monday, July 29, as well as basketball clinics for local boys and girls.  In addition, a group will visit the S.O.S. Children’s Villages in Dakar to tour the facilities and participate in a variety of activities with children and families living there.

The NBA and FIBA have staged 59 BWB camps in 38 cities in 30 countries on six continents.  BWB has hosted more than 3,500 participants from 129 countries and territories.  More than 290 current and former NBA and WNBA players have joined more than 240 NBA team personnel from all 30 NBA teams, with 68 former BWB campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents.

The following is a complete list of players participating in the 17th BWB Africa Camp:

GIRLS ROSTER

Last Name First Name Country
Goncalves Tcheuzia Angola
Delgado Paula Cape Verde
Essome Amana Karel Vanessa Cameroon
Lukusa Enkawa Mabelle Democratic Republic of the Congo
Nasr Zeina Egypt
Edan Aworet Ilris Gabon
Touré Khadija Cote d’Ivoire
Desiree Konan Affoue Emmanuella Cote d’Ivoire
Matshine Doris Mozambique
Tamele Tania Mozambique
Fredricks Victory Nigeria
Funke Zaccheaus Oluwatunmise Nigeria
Oladipupo Opeyemi Balkis Nigeria
Sifa Ineza Rwanda
Tal Aminata Senegal
Dieng Fatou Senegal
Diop Mareme Senegal
Diatta Bineta Senegal
Apoudjak Yasmine Togo
Aharh Nougan Reana Togo

 BOYS ROSTER

 Last Name First Name Country
Anis Ghouar Mohamed Algeria
Seibou Aborney-Calavi Arzika Meyaki Benin
Zoungrana Ezzedine Steve Makieti Burkina Faso
Simo Ngoufanke Anthony Cameroon
Herve Junior Dzukam Kenmou Cameroon
Ngopot Jerry Dieu Beni Central African Republic
Outmane Oumar Abakar Chad
Numbi Mike Matunga Democratic Republic of Congo
Ngalamulume Jonathan Kalonji Democratic Republic of Congo
Abdelaty Abdalatib Mohab Yasser Egypt
Ehab Yehya Egypt
Abdalaty Abdallatif Mohab Yasser Egypt
Ndoh Mapangou Andy Paul Darel Gabon
Adamu Muazibini Jabal Ghana
Sylla Thierno Mamoudou Guinea
Doua Christ Cote d’Ivoire
Okeyo Ricky Omondi Kenya
Heritiana Safidy Madagascar
Diop Mamoudou Mali
Hamza Ghoulial Morocco
Magagule Mucombo Samuel Mozambique
Ojianwuna Joshua Nigeria
Ariybi Oluwatobi Samuel Nigeria
Abodunrin Olusola John Nigeria
Okpene Emmanuel Eneji Nigeria
Shabakuru David Rwanda
Faye Babacar Senegal
Dieng Khadim Senegal
Mboup Moustapha Senegal
Sow Cheick Senegal
Lombie Henry Tilima James Sierra Leone
Ozabor Joshua Eromosele South Africa
Oelofse Jan-Cloete South Africa
Deng Deng Dhieu Kuac South Sudan
Jok Alier Kuol Alier South Sudan
Dielic Marial Mayom Malek South Sudan
Maiga Daudi Zabion Tanzania
Ben Zakour Ahmed Rayen Tunisia
Medini Mohamed Youssef Tunisia
Gumbo Nyasha Joseph Zimbabwe

-Additional reporting by NBA Communications

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