ROYAL BAFOKENG NBA DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM LAUNCHED TODAY
-- Initiative Includes Clinics, School-Based Basketball League and
Coaching Programs Designed to Increase Youth Access and Participation --
PHOKENG AND JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, May. 26, 2011 – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN) have launched the Royal Bafokeng NBA Development Program, a multifaceted school-based basketball development initiative focusing on developing the game in the North West Province of South Africa.
The Royal Bafokeng NBA Development Program teaches basketball fundamentals and life skills through Royal Bafokeng Sports’ “Sports in Schools” initiative, which emphasises the value of physical education and sports as part of a holistic approach to education.
Africa Amadou Fall, Managing Director Royal Bafokeng Sports (RBS) George Khunou, the President of Basketball South Africa Malesala Maleka, and North West MEC for Sport, Hlomane Chauke, were present at the launch.
“Basketball is a physical and competitive game that will engage our girls and boys in healthy activity, and also provide lots of fun. The Bafokeng vision for development is focused on personal responsibility, team effort, and the unrelenting pursuit of excellence. The NBA shares our values in this regard, which is why they are a perfect partner in our African hoop dreams,” says Kgosi Molotlegi. “We believe the best way to engage with our youth is through sports and this is evident from the recent achievements in the sports arena in our nation.”
“The Royal Bafokeng Nation is the ideal partner for this comprehensive basketball development initiative,” said Fall. “We admire the Nation's commitment to excellence and bettering its communities through sports, and this program will utilize the inclusive nature and core values of the game of basketball to positively impact the lives of youth.”
The Program tip off featured Luc Mbah a Moute (Cameroon) of the Milwaukee Bucks, WNBA legend Dawn Staley, one of the most accomplished and decorated USA women's basketball players in history, along with NBA All-Star performer and Guinness World Record Holder Joe Odhiambo. Staley and Odhiambo worked with 50 youth basketball players during the festival held on the newly refurbished courts at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace, following the formal launch announcements.
The Royal Bafokeng NBA Development Program will be overseen by Joby Wright (NBA Africa/Royal Bafokeng Technical Director); Patrick Engelbrecht (NBA Africa Development Coach) and Franck Traore (NBA Africa/Royal Bafokeng Development Coach). Elements of the initiative include:
Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA will be open to boys and girls, with middle and high school divisions at 20 schools in five regions of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, with weekly clinics at each school and monthly camps for elite participants.
NBA Royal Bafokeng Challenge is an inter-scholastic league at middle and high school levels featuring teams from schools participating in Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA. It will include the Royal Bafokeng Championship for participants at both levels, comprising both girls and boys teams.
Train the Trainers will feature clinics and classroom sessions led by NBA Africa Development coaches for 40 coaches and referees for the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA and NBA Royal Bafokeng Challenge. The local coaches will then be able to implement the Jr. NBA training Program and provide high-quality basketball instruction to participants and referees will act as line judges and scores for competitions.
As part of the multiyear partnership announced in February, 20 schools across the five Bafokeng regions will enjoy the use of newly built basketball courts. The schools comprise nine middle schools, six high schools and one combined middle/high school and will see more than 8,500 children participate. The courts will be built over the next two months.
About NBA Africa
The NBA has a long history in the African continent and opened its first office in Africa in 2010, appointing Amadou Gallo Fall as Vice President for Development. NBA games, featuring ten players from Africa, are broadcast to fans in 55 African countries and territories in five languages. Through NBA Cares, the NBA has helped create 30 places to live, learn or play in Africa, including technology centers, libraries, youth hostels, dining facilities, health clinics, homes and basketball courts.
For the past eight years the NBA has conducted Basketball without Borders Africa, a basketball instructional camp for young people that also promotes leadership, education, sportsmanship, and healthy living. More than 100 NBA players and team personnel and more than 500 campers have participated in the camps in Johannesburg and Dakar, including former campers Nigerian native Solomon Alabi (Toronto Raptors), Congo native Christian Eyenga (Cleveland Cavaliers), Cameroon native Luc Mbah a Moute (Milwaukee Bucks) and Senegalese native Hamady Ndiaye (Washington Wizards).
About Royal Bafokeng Nation
The Royal Bafokeng Nation is a unique African community where tradition meets modernity. Located in the Rustenburg Valley in the North West Province, the twenty-nine villages of the Royal Bafokeng Nation boast some of the most innovative approaches to sustainable development in Africa. These include holistic education reform, the use of sport to generate social and financial returns, and converting mineral resources into the world’s leading community-based investment company.
The King of the Royal Bafokeng Nation is Kgosi Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi, 36th in a long line of visionary traditional leaders. Thanks to the pioneering spirit of the King’s ancestors, the Bafokeng community owns the rights to a part of the largest known reserves of platinum and chrome in the world. Vision 2020 and PLAN: ‘35, the strategic blueprint for the community’s future, aim to create a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable community true to its African heritage and traditions.
The Royal Bafokeng Nation is fast becoming a model of community regeneration for South Africa, Africa and the world. Bafokeng leadership combines elected, appointed, and hereditary leaders committed to long-term, future-oriented planning. The Royal Bafokeng Stadium was as the first and only community-owned stadium to host a FIFA World Cup.
Tom Marchesi, NBA EMEA Communications, +44 20 7795 8921, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christelle du Toit, Head of Communications, Royal Bafokeng Nation, + 27 14 566 1267, email@example.com