Nelson Mandela Rumors
Is this project, though, bigger than basketball in Africa and Nigeria? Obviously, you want to advance the basketball programme, but knowing you, I think there’s a little bit more to it than just that… Mike Brown: For me, being African American, there’s no better connection for me than a country in Africa and especially Nigeria. There’s a quote from Nelson Mandela: “The world will not respect Africa until Nigeria earns that respect. The black people of the world need Nigeria to be great as a source of pride and confidence.” That’s our rallying cry. That’s our slogan. Obviously, we all know who Nelson Mandela is. We all know what he meant, not just to South Africa, but to the world, and in particular, all of Africa.
Marc J. Spears: Raptors President Masai Ujiri will honour late South African President Nelson Mandela, on Thursday by hosting a youth summit with the Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children & Social Development in Toronto. The focus will be on encouraging youth to “Be the Change.”
But more surreal were the ways in which Bol reminded Madut of their father, Manute Bol, the tallest person to ever play in the NBA and one of the league’s great humanitarians. An admirer called him the “Muhammad Ali or Nelson Mandela of his time” for all he had done in South Sudan. “You can look right at (Bol) and tell,” Madut says. “Just the way he walks. People say the same thing to me: ‘You walk like your dad.’ I don’t see it because I’m not looking at me walking. But seeing him walk, he walks just like Dad. Smiles like Dad. Just looks exactly like him.” After the game, Madut drove home without talking to Bol.
The Milwaukee Bucks swingman has been involved previously in international coaching programs, in the Philippines and Australia, where he headlined the Basketball Without Borders Asia camp in Melbourne three years ago, and he says NBA players recognize the need to give back to the game that makes them headline attractions. “This isn’t a job for us,” Middleton says of his attendance of the program that officially ’embodies Nelson Mandela’s’ legacy and belief that sport can inspire and change the world.’
“Each and every one of us has been through something. We’ve been scouted, we’ve been around NBA players, NBA cultures that’s helped us get to that next level, so it’s very nice to be in a position where I can do the same,” Middleton says. “We have to give back. We have to try to grow the game. We have to try to make the game better than it was when we came in … it’s a great job to have to try to spread the game, to spread joy, to help anybody out.”
The Greece-born Antetokounmpo is the son of immigrants from Nigeria, while Maker made his way to the NBA from the war zone in South Sudan via Australia, the Carlisle School in Martinsville, Virginia, and Canada. “Giannis is definitely proud about his Nigerian heritage, with his mother and father being from there and immigrating to Greece, and … Thon’s a guy who’s bounced all over the world. Thon’s been through a lot, and he came out alive. Looking at these kids and knowing that one of them could be the next Thon Maker or Giannis Antetokounmpo is great,” Middleton says.