NBA Stars Bring Basketball and Life Skills to Ethiopian Youth

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of the Brooklyn Nets speaks with youth at the clinic in Addis Ababa

The U.S. Embassy, in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA), UNICEF and the Ethiopian Basketball Federation, hosted a basketball clinics and conducted outreach on leadership skills for Ethiopian youths from July 29-31, 2017 in Addis Ababa and Mekelle.  Four basketball stars participated in the clinics and also served on a panel to discuss “Sports in America: Basketball.”  The participating sports envoys were:  Rushia Brown, former WNBA player for the Cleveland Rockets; Rondae Hollis-Jefferson of the Brooklyn Nets; CJ McCollum of the Portland Trailblazers; and Dikembe Mutombo, former NBA player and a member of the NBA Hl of Fame.  The U.S. Embassy believes that sports diplomacy helps transcend cultural differences and bring people together.  Participation in sports teaches leadership, teamwork, and communication skills that help young people succeed in all areas of their lives.  The U.S. State Department’s Sports Envoys Program takes current and former professional athletes and coaches overseas to lead youth clinics and team building activities, as well as share lessons learned on and off the playing field about the importance of education, community engagement, and respect for diversity.