October 18, 2023 – U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa hosted former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Sylvia Fowles and former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Vladimir Radmanovic in Ethiopia from October 9 – 13, 2023. The players met with Ethiopian government officials, trained Ethiopian youth and their coaches, and engaged with members of a wheelchair basketball association.
Deputy Chief of Mission Wendy Green welcomed Sylvia Fowles and Vladimir Radmanovic to Addis Ababa. She joined the players on their trip to Jigjiga, Somali Region. The Sports Envoys met with the acting Somali Regional State President H.E. Ibrahim Osman and Mohamed Mahdi, Jijiga Youth and Sports Office. The Envoys also held basketball training session with youths in Jigjiga.
In Addis Ababa, they met with the federal Minister of Culture and Sport Kejela Merdasa and State Minister Ambassador Mesfin Cherinet. The Envoys’ also held discussions with Addis Ababa City Administration Youth and Sport Bureau officials, including the president of the Paralympic Committee.
Around 48 local basketball players, including 20 local wheelchair basketball players, took part in the training sessions with the Sports Envoys at the Addis Ababa City Administration, Youth, and Sport Bureau facilities.