USA - Olympic and World champions to make maiden African visit
COLORADO SPRINGS - The USA men's national team will make their first-ever visit to Africa next month when they travel to Dakar to conduct a clinic for boys and girls in partnership with their counterparts from the Senegalese national team.
The historical event will take place at the Marius Ndiaye Stadium on 27 August, with the American stars also scheduled to tour Goree Island prior to attending a reception hosted by the Senegalese government.
"Giving back is important to me, as it is for all of my USA team-mates and our trip to Senegal will be an incredible opportunity to do that," said Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant in anticipation of the pending trip.
"Hopefully we can contribute some excitement and joy to the boys and girls who are involved in the clinic.
"I know whatever positives we're able to give to them will be returned to each one of us several times."
Durant's eagerness to visit Africa was echoed by USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo who declared: "We're excited about this special opportunity to learn more about Senegal and its people.
"This will be a terrific experience for our entire group - players, coaches and staff. Others have described this as a life-changing experience.
"For our group to experience this first-hand is not just a great educational opportunity, but also a great way for all of us to bond together as we go through our preparations for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
"Hopefully our visit will have a positive impact on the boys and girls who will be involved in the clinic and I'm sure this will be an incredible experience for everyone."
Unsurprisingly, the Senegalese Basketball Federation are thrilled with the arrangement and its President, Serigne Mboup stated: "We are delighted and trust that the visit will have a positive impact on the youth participating in the clinic and will help to inspire more young players in Senegal to develop into leaders on and off the court and in their communities.
"This first-ever visit to Africa is a historic moment for the sport on the continent," added Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA Vice President & Managing Director for Africa.
"Having some of the most exciting players in the game coming to our region will shine a spotlight on the sport of basketball in Senegal and across Africa.
"We are grateful to the Senegalese government and the Senegalese Basketball Federation for their support and commitment to ensure this historic visit will have a lasting impact on efforts to grow the game of basketball and inspire the youth beyond the game."
The USA will stop in Senegal one day after playing their final exhibition game of their tour to Gran Canaria and just three days before a return to Spain to participate in the FIBA Basketball World Cup.