NBA Africa today named Mohamed Abdel-Motaleb Soliman as Vice President and Head of NBA Egypt, where the league’s fourth office on the continent will open in early 2023. Soliman, who most recently served as vice president of the Egyptian Basketball Federation and deputy secretary general of the Egyptian Olympic Committee, will lead the league’s new office in Cairo and report to NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.
06 Dec 22
When Utah Jazz center Udoka Azubuike arrived at the Basketball Without Borders Africa camp held in Cairo, Egypt in late August, the significance of his presence there wasn’t initially apparent to him. Sure, it was his first time back on the African continent since he emigrated from Nigeria to the United States about 10 years ago, but that itself didn’t put him in an overly sentimental mood.
“It didn’t really hit me until we actually started the camp. Just seeing the kids, seeing them practice and work hard, just seeing the joy on their faces,” Azubuike told The Salt Lake Tribune in a Zoom interview from Cairo. “These kids don’t have a lot, but they are super-grateful, they’re excited for the opportunity. … They’re trying to learn and get better. It just puts stuff in perspective.”
“Some of these kids don’t have a basketball gym, like we have in the States, where they can go every day and work hard and get better at their game. Some of them have to go to a different country or an academy just to find somewhere to play basketball,” Azubuike said. “For me, growing up, it was the same way. I had to walk 40 minutes just to get to an outdoor basketball court to shoot hoops. Some of these kids don’t have that luxury where they can just go to the gym, lift weights, and all that stuff.”
Kerr, who was born in Beirut, Lebanon, spent time in Egypt as a child because of his father’s academic career in Middle Eastern studies, and had not been back to Cairo since 1985 until this past weekend. Kerr made it a family affair, he told ESPN at a media event on Sunday: “I wanted to come to Cairo [for BWB], I haven’t been back here since 1985. “I brought my family — I brought my wife, my daughter, her husband — it’s great to be visiting Egypt again and doing so while coaching and being a part of BWB made it a perfect trip.”