Rwanda president Paul Kagame has welcomed a partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the African continent which will seek to identify new talent and help young Africans find opportunities in sport and education.
Kagame was speaking at a reception in New York hosted by the NBA ahead of the United Nations General Assembly.
“In the NBA there have been many Africans but there are many more who can qualify to be there. It is not just playing basketball, it exposes them to many opportunities, including education and many others,” Kagame said.
Currently, the NBA organises boot camps to identify talent and has an off-season show match between Team Africa and a rest of the world team. However, NBA’s activity in the continent is expected to increase.
Kegame, accompanied by Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, pledged to mobilize different countries in Africa to help NBA spot new talent.
President Kagame is now attending a reception hosted by the National Basketball Association alongside President @UKenyatta, @NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Larry Tanenbaum, NBA Chairman of the Board of Directors— Presidency | Rwanda (@UrugwiroVillage) 23 September 2018
Kagame acknowledges African players who are giving back
Rwanda’s president also took the time to acknowledge African basketball players who come back to the continent to help others take a step forward.
“They come from Africa, they had these opportunities and now they are looking back and saying where we come from there are many more,” said Kagame.
Cameroon’s Joel Embiid, who plays as a center for the Philadelphia 76ers, recently said he loves to return to Africa every year, with the hope that his story can be an inspiration to young players.
His talent was spotted at a Basketball Without Borders camp in 2011. Three years later, he was drafted by Philadelphia.
President Kagame on players and members of NBA who are giving back: They come from Africa, they had these opportunities and now they are looking back and saying where we come from there are many more. Copy @UrugwiroVillage #Rwot pic.twitter.com/vWxIMegHAp— @ Imena Family (@FamilyImena) 24 September 2018