Basketball without Borders 2012 features first-time camps in Japan and Russia

NEW YORK – The 2012 schedule for Basketball without Borders (BWB) will feature two first-time locations, in Japan and Russia, and a return to South Africa, it was announced by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).  First held in 2001, Basketball without Borders is the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program that uses the sport to create positive social change in the areas of education and health and wellness.

NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, Sam Dalembert (Houston Rockets) and Vladimir Radmanovic (Atlanta Hawks) will tip off the summer with Basketball without Borders Asia in Tokyo, Japan, from June 13 – 16.  Xebio Co., LTD, a leading Japanese sports retail company, will serve as the Official Co-Organizer of Basketball without Borders Asia, providing all aspects of on-ground event support.  In addition to NBA Cares community outreach efforts in Tokyo, the NBA players and coaches will visit Sendai where the group will conduct a basketball and fitness clinic for children affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

NBA coaches attending BWB Asia include Lloyd Pierce (Memphis Grizzlies), Rolando Blackman (Dallas Mavericks) and James Borrego (New Orleans Hornets), and shooting coach Dave Hopla. Dean Cooper returns as the BWB Asia Camp Director with Koichi Sato (Washington Wizards) joining as camp athletic trainer.

The 10th edition of Basketball without Borders Africa will return to Johannesburg, South Africa from Aug 30 – Sept 2.  The Milwaukee Bucks’ Luc Mbah a Moute, a former BWB camper from Cameroon, will participate in his third BWB Africa camp as a coach along with Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Chicago Bulls teammates Luol Deng (South Sudan) and CJ Watson, and Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Serge Ibaka (Congo) and Cole Aldrich, with additional NBA coaches and personnel.

Rounding out the 2012 camp schedule will be another first, with Basketball without Borders Europe in Moscow, Russia, from Sept 13 – 16.

“Basketball without Borders showcases the NBA’s commitment to using basketball as a tool to connect with communities around the world, and we are thrilled to bring the program to two new countries this year,” said Kathy Behrens, NBA Executive Vice President, Social Responsibility & Player Programs.  “Thanks to the support of FIBA and our group of dedicated current and former NBA players and coaches, BWB continues to provide elite training for top young basketball talent around the world while helping to bring attention to important social issues.”

“I am delighted to see that Basketball without Borders will be making first-time visits to Japan and Russia and returning to South Africa this year,” said Patrick Baumann, Secretary General of FIBA and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  “BWB gives young people from all over the world the opportunity and tools to improve and showcase their basketball skills by learning from the best players and coaches around.   Over the course of eleven years, the NBA and FIBA have also enabled these young athletes to become positive role models in their communities.”

Nike, a BWB global partner since 2002, will again outfit the campers and coaches of all three camps with Nike apparel and footwear.

“Basketball without Borders not only provides top level basketball instruction, but also teaches characteristics that are key to success in life such as hard work, dedication, teamwork, and sportsmanship,” said Lynn Merritt, Vice President, Global Basketball Sports Marketing, Nike. “We are proud to continue to work with the NBA and FIBA who share our commitment to developing talent around the world.”

BWB features top youth players from each region, as selected by the NBA and FIBA, training under NBA players and coaches.  Campers receive top-level instruction on-court and participate in daily life-skills seminars focused on values of the game such as leadership, character development, and living a healthy lifestyle. Through NBA Cares, the NBA players and coaches also participate in extensive community outreach efforts highlighted by the creation of places for children and families to live, learn or play including new technology centers, libraries and basketball courts.

Since its inception, the NBA and FIBA have staged 30 BWB camps in 17 cities in 15 countries.  Nearly 140 different current and former NBA/WNBA players have joined with more than 130 NBA coaches to act as mentors for nearly 1,500 campers from just over 100 countries, with 21 BWB campers drafted into the NBA.