HoopsHype Africa rumors


August 24, 2011 Updates

Suns.com: How many times have you been to Africa with Basketball without Borders? Suns GM Lance Blanks: I’m not sure how many times, actually. I have to take a look back because there have been so many. I’ve been to Africa about a dozen times. I’ve been to Senegal, Egypt and some other countries. Suns.com: Have you been looking forward to this upcoming trip for some time? Blanks: Yes. Love it. I enjoy going over there. It’s always a very exciting time of the year for me to just go over there and experience it. There’s a lot of goodwill that the NBA offers. And also there’s a basketball piece to it because of the kids you get to observe. You also get to work with other teams’ scouts and personnel, as well as people from the league. So it’s a good trip. NBA.com

August 22, 2011 Updates

Several NBA stars have accomplished much in the philanthropic realm, but very few have set out to accomplish the mission and vision of the Orlando Magic’s power center Dwight Howard. On August 15-22, 2011, the worldwide mission of the D12 Foundation was furthered when Dwight and foundation executives traveled to the United Republic of Tanzania. His travels in Tanzania were to continue his tireless efforts to promote education as a vehicle for economic and social development success among young boys and girls around the world, particularly for the poorest nations around the globe. SLAM

During his week-long stay, Dwight visited the Kipok Secondary School in the Monduli region and the Lunguya Secondary School in Shinyanga to donate more than $80K for their educational efforts. Dwight’s donation will assist in building a dormitory on the grounds of each school so that the young girls are able to live on the school’s campus. By living on campus, it will ensure that the students have three meals a day and will help to keep the young girls safe from any danger, including potentially being raped, as they will no longer have to walk more than three kilometers to school. Other needs in this region include additional schools, classrooms, teachers and computer labs. The Secondary Schools also in need of 84 dormitories, of which only 20 are available at this time, leaving a shortage of 64. The presence of dormitories increases retention of the young girls and boys and as a result increases completion rates and improves academic performance. SLAM

The next day, I told Post I had decided to go. I asked what I needed to do to get ready. They were very happy about me going and told I had to get vaccination shots from the doctor, make sure my passport was up to date, and acquire a visa. I had never been to Africa and honestly it was terrifying to say the least, and it was all happening very fast. I had no idea who I was going with, only that there were about 10 doctors and nurses going, and I wouldn't be meeting any of them until I flew into London. While getting my vaccinations the doctor informed me that the shots I was taking would take more than 10 days before the antibodies would be active -- so, in other words, they wouldn't do me any good until I came back. On top of that I didn't even know where we were going; our airline tickets only got us to Nairobi. NBA.com

I had originally thought that the people we were going to aid were the disadvantaged and had been the ones who were attacked. As I came to learn more about the situation I began to understand that the majority of the people we were aiding were the ones who were members of the group that had actually started the conflict. The level of desperation was enough to make the area dangerous, and coupled with the anger of the men of the militia who had been embarrassed and lost face, the potential danger was raised to a whole new level. Here were heavily armed men struggling to regain respect and control because all they had was lost. NBA.com

We went to the camp with 300,000 people with no food, water, light, bathrooms or security. It was a terrifying place with men walking around brandishing machetes and guns, looking very angry. These were the men from the Hutu army who had been embarrassed and fled Rwanda and were attempting to regain some status and control over the civilians by threatening violence and attempting to control operations at the camp. I told the doctors to remove their valuables, watches, rings, earrings, and be mindful to not put their cameras out the windows. One swing of a machete was capable of taking someone's arm off, and the temptation would be there if there was a valuable attached. I also remember saying to myself if I was in the situation I would get away from this area saturated with so many people, sleep during the day and stay up at night because that was the most terrifying time without having shelter. These were destitute people. It was hot and stinky, waste was everywhere and because it was so hot the waste became dust and part of the soil. It would get kicked up as people were walking, so there was bacteria everywhere. NBA.com

One day late in the evening we saw two brothers carrying a young girl. She was about six or seven years old. The doctors realized immediately she was very ill. They determined she had pneumonia and gave her a shot of antibiotics and set her up to an IV. They were having a hard time getting the IV into her because she was so small and frail. They finally got her set up and her brothers were looking after her. I wanted to take her back to the camp with us so that we could monitor her and said that she could have my bed, but being new and my first time, I didn't insist that we take her. I will always remember her because as she lay there I was putting Chapstick on my lips and she pointed and gestured that she wanted some. So I put some on her lips and gave it to her to make her more comfortable. When we returned in the morning the little girl had died. I felt very guilty that I didn't insist that we take her. NBA.com

The house in Zaire was surrounded by death and danger. I couldn't help but think to myself that the United Nations should have stepped in and done something to keep peace. I always heard the phrase "Never Again" used in terms of the Nazi camps from World War II and the violence that came with that. I felt like this situation in Rwanda was no different and the UN should have intervened. Once I woke up, I headed downstairs to a Chinese restaurant where I proceeded to order about seven different things on the menu. It had been days since I had really eaten and ate all of the food that the waiter brought to the table. I had lost about 20 pounds during the trip. When I returned to Portland, The Oregonian had a front-page article about my trip. Tens of thousands of dollars were donated to the Northwest Medical Team because of the article, which had raised the awareness of the people in regard to the situation. NBA.com

July 22, 2011 Updates

UNICEF Brazzaville will host National Basketball Association star and Oklahoma City Thunder Forward Serge Ibaka, in a visit to the Republic of the Congo from July 22 to 24. During the visit, Ibaka will train with the national team and work with UNICEF to promote children’s rights to education, health and protection. “UNICEF is pleased to meet and work with Ibaka because he shares our commitment to improve the lives of children in Congo and elsewhere,” said Marianne Flach, UNICEF Representative. She said Ibaka’s visit is intended to highlight the daily challenges facing Congolese children including focusing attention on children’s education and protection. Look to the Stars

January 31, 2011 Updates

You're talking about starts, what are the plans and objectives of the African basketball? Amadou Fall: Our mission revolves around the development of basketball at its root. We must make this sport more accessible. Unlike football, which can be played anywhere with anything, basketball requires a ground ball, baskets and it is our role to get involved in the development of this infrastructure so that even in the remotest corners , kids can play basketball soon. As in my case, many players begin later in Africa (at 16) and lose a lot of years because they have not been exposed to basketball before. Our efforts also concentrate on developing local expertise; we are investing a lot to organize seminars to train staff (coaches, referees). We also hope that viewers have the opportunity to see NBA games. We do a lot of effort so that our meetings are broadcast on national television in Africa. Young people are very attracted by basketball but also by the "lifestyle around the sport. StarAfrica.com

What changes have you noticed since you took office as head of the NBA Africa? Amadou Fall: This year we are meeting all the records, we will soon be present on the entire African continent in one way or another. This is due to long-standing agreements that we have with partners such as Canal +, ESPN, Al Jazeera or Company C Africa covering many countries. Last week for example I could see the Lakers game against Dallas in a bar in Nairobi Kenya and I think it's great because it brings together people of basketball. StarAfrica.com

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