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South Africa set to host Basketball Without Borders camp

30 boys and 30 girls from more than 20 African countries will take part in this year's camp. They are poised to reap benefits, bordering on a lifetime opportunity to learn directly from current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches.

THE National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) have settled on South Africa as the host of this year’s Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa edition event.

The meet, in its 20th edition this year, will be held at the American International School of Johannesburg from Saturday 3rd to Tuesday 6th August 2024, marking the 16th time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in South Africa.

According to NBA Africa CEO Clare Akamanzi BWB Africa, this year’s edition will bring together 30 boys and 30 girls from more than 20 African countries, who will get a lifetime opportunity to learn directly from current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches and compete alongside their peers from across the continent.

“Bringing Basketball Without Borders back to South Africa for its milestone 20th edition reflects the incredible momentum we’re seeing for basketball in the country,” added the CEO,” she explained in a statement.

Previously, BWB Africa camps have been held in Dakar, Senegal (2010 and 2019), Luanda, Angola (2016) and Cairo, Egypt (2022). Basketball Without Borders has reached more than 4,400 participants from 142 countries and territories since 2001, with 127 former campers advancing to the NBA or Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).

With elevating the level of basketball in each region where the camp is hosted, and providing elite basketball instruction and development opportunities to maximize the potential of international talent being BWB’s core mandate, budding basketball players in the host nation end up as main beneficiaries.

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The campers and coaches who will be announced prior to the camp, she said, will also take part in life skills, leadership development and NBA Cares programming.

“We look forward to welcoming some of the most talented boys and girls from across the continent for four days of high-level basketball training, competition, and leadership development that will have a lasting impact on their on-court and personal journeys,” Akamanzi further explained in the statement.

Basketball Without Borders has been touted as a game changer, with FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bilé terming it a real leveller for basketball on the African continent.

“As part of our ongoing collaboration with the NBA in Africa, which also includes the Basketball Africa League (BAL), BWB continues to elevate our sport and provide invaluable opportunities and experiences for African youth and coaches, both on-and-off the court,” he said.

Statistically, 41 former BWB campers were among the record 125 international players on opening-night rosters for the 2023-24 NBA season, including 2022-23 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Joel Embiid of Philadelphia 76er from Cameroon BWB Africa 2011.
Embiid became the first former BWB camper to be named NBA MVP, and 2019 NBA champion Pascal Siakam, Indiana Pacers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012.

In total, 13 former BWB Africa campers have been drafted into the NBA since the first BWB Africa camp in 2003, including Ulrich Chomche (Cameroon), who was selected 57th overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2024 NBA Draft last month.

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Sixty-three former BWB Africa campers have also been featured on BAL team rosters over the league’s first four seasons.

BWB Africa 2024 will be supported by Nike, its global partner since 2002. Nike will outfit participants with Nike apparel, footwear and Gatorade, which will keep players and coaches hydrated throughout the camp.

By OLIVER OCHIENG, BIRD STORY AGENCY

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