The 14th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa tipped off at Pavilhão Multiusos do Kilamba in Luanda on Wednesday morning. Featuring 87 boys and girls from 26 African countries, the camp is hosted for the first time in Angola, after previously taking place in South Africa (2003-09 and 2011-15) and Senegal (2010).
The four-day camp started off with a life-skills seminar for the young participants. The seminar was moderated by Hoops 4 Hope and led by Amadou Gallo Fall (NBA Vice President & Managing Director for Africa), Masai Ujiri (President of Basketball Operations, Toronto Raptors), Luc Mbah a Moute (Los Angeles Clippers) and Dikembe Mutombo (NBA Global Ambassador) who spoke about all the upcoming activities and shared their individual BWB journeys.
The camp got officially underway at the press conference opened by Amadou Gallo Fall, joined by Dikembe Mutombo, Helmarc Comercio & Industria CEO Helder Cruz and Angolan Minister of Youth and Sports Gonçalves Muandumba.
“It is a great honour to be hosting Basketball without Borders here in Angola for the first time. Angola is a great basketball nation and hosting the camp here contributes to our efforts of growing the NBA’s footprint across the continent” said Fall.
Following the press conference, the campers headed straight to the basketball courts to take part in scrimmages and positional development sessions. It was the first opportunity for them to compete in front of NBA and WNBA players and coaches. The NBA players’ contingent, including Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks, Tunisia), Olumide Oyedeji (former NBA player, Nigeria), Cody Zeller (Charlotte Hornets, USA), Luc Mbah a Moute (LA Clippers, Cameroon), Eric Bledsoe (Phoenix Suns, USA) and Jenn Lacy (WNBA Legend), was accompanied by Angolan basketball greats such as Carlos Morais, Joaquim Gomes and Yannick Moreira.
Salah Mejri said, “It is great to see all these boys and girls at BWB. The talent I have seen here today is great and it is encouraging that Africa has basketball potential which spans the entire continent.”
The day concluded with a Jr. NBA clinic hosted in partnership with UNICEF, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa and Hoops 4 Hope.