Aug 31st, 2007 by Inside Hoops
Sacramento Kings guard Kevin Martin will join a host of NBA stars and coaching personnel returning to Johannesburg, South Africa September 5-9 at the American International School of Johannesburg for the fifth edition of Basketball without Borders Africa.
A partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and Basketball South Africa (BSA), Basketball without Borders Africa is a global basketball development and community outreach program that uses the sport of basketball to influence positive social change and features dozens of current and former NBA players and team personnel as camp coaches.
“I’m truly grateful to have this opportunity,” said Martin. “Not only to work with these children but to travel to South Africa. I’m looking forward to helping make a difference in these campers’ lives.”
Martin is the fourth Sacramento Kings player to take part in this event, which originally began in July 2001, with Vlade Divac of the Kings and six other NBA players from the former Yugoslavia uniting to work with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYRO Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia Montenegro at La Ghirada in Treviso, Italy. The following year in 2002, Basketball Without Borders brought together 50 young Greek and Turkish players in Istanbul, Turkey, led by Kings forwards Hedo Turkoglu and Peja Stojakovic.
A three-year NBA veteran, Martin heads to Johannesburg having just completed his most successful NBA season to date. Martin averaged 20.2 ppg (.473 FG%, .381 3pt%, .844FT%), 4.3 rpg, 2.2 apg, and 1.2 spg, finishing second in the NBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year race in what turned out to be the closest contest ever for that particular award.
The young players (ages 19 & under) from 21 African countries were selected by FIBA and the NBA based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities, and dedication to the sport. For four days the campers will work hard to improve their skills through drills, scrimmages, and competitions with top instruction from NBA players and coaches. Teams will form without regard to race or nationality to promote friendship and diversity. The campers will also participate in life skills sessions, in partnership with Hoops 4 Hope, in which NBA players will speak about the importance of education, leadership, character, healthy living, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
For the fifth consecutive year, Houston Rockets center Dikembe Mutombo, who in 2007 received special recognition during the United States President’s State of the Union Address for his charitable work, will lead the camp in South Africa. In addition to Martin, NBA players involved include San Antonio Spurs forward Bruce Bowen, Charlotte Bobcats center Primoz Brezec, Atlanta Hawks guard-forward Josh Childress, Orlando Magic forward Pat Garrity, Phoenix Suns center Sean Marks, New Jersey Nets forward Bostjan Nachbar, and New York Knicks forward Malik Rose.