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October 12, 2012 | Africa: South Africa

A Big Boost for Basketball During the Tournament

By Charles Nyambe

Dikembe Mutombo, NBA superstar and Special Olympics Global Ambassador, led the session.

Dikembe Mutombo, NBA superstar and Special Olympics Global Ambassador, joined local NBA coaches and brought a little star power to a skills and drills clinic October 4. The athletes were not playing football during the tournament but were on hand to benefit from the instruction in basketball. The NBA conducts trainings and workshops in the Royal Bafokeng Nation in South Africa as part of a project to develop basketball skills as a sport in Africa. The clinic was a Unified clinic with 40 Special Olympics athletes and 20 Unified® partners from the local NBA program participating. Each athlete and partner was provided with an NBA T shirt. The clinic included an educational talk from the NBA coach Joby Wright followed by several basketball skills and some cheerleading displays by a local team of 30 youths from a local church. Several VIPs attended the clinic including Dr. Timothy Shriver, Mr. Lucas Rebebe, and several others. NBA representatives included Amadou Fall, Vice President NBA Africa, and coaches Joby Wright, Frank Traore and Patrick Engelbrecht, who were supported by seven local coaches trained by the NBA.

About Charles Nyambe: I am director, Program Development and Sports for Special Olympics Africa.

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