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Sixers’ Willie Green’s Life-Changing Aid Mission To Africa August 10th, 2010 | Posted by Erin Carroll

Although he will surely be seeing limited playing time in the upcoming season due to the 76ers’ acquisition of No. 2 NBA pick Evan Turner, nothing will humble veteran guard Willie Green more than his recent trip to Senegal. As part of Basketball without Borders Africa, Green traveled to Dakar, Senegal to instruct the top 60 young basketball players from the continent, on and off the court. NBA coaches and players from Africa, including DeSagana Diop (Senegal), Luc Mbah a Moute (Cameroon) and Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania), along with Dwight Howard and former Sixers Sam Dalembert and Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of Congo), participated in community outreach events through NBA Cares, the league’s social responsibility program. Partnering with the nonprofit organization Hoops 4 Hope the players and coaches led activities that focused on leadership, character development, and health, with particular emphasis on HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention. The group also participated in the malaria bed-net distribution program in partnership with United Nations Foundation, USAID, and the Senegal Ministry of Health. Green described his experience delivering mosquito bed nets to homes in the community, a simple task that he could do to help the situation. He discussed how sad it is that most Americans know little about malaria, while it remains a serious killer of young children and mothers in Senegal, and kills nearly one million people every year worldwide. The trip was Green’s first visit to to Africa, and it struck him to his core. “Seeing the kids here, their faces and eyes light up when they


see players from the NBA… they are so happy to see us up close, to give us a handshake, to give us a hug. For the kids, it’s a great experience for them, something they will always remember. But it’s the same for us, maybe even more so.” Witnessing real despair, Green explains how he sees loosing a few minutes on the court with a new perspective. “It is of particular significance that Basketball without Borders Africa is being held here in Dakar for the first time,” said Amadou Gallo Fall, vice president of development for the NBA in Africa and a Senegal native. “With the help of the current and former NBA and FIBA players, coaches and partners, Basketball without Borders is a perfect vehicle to draw attention to important social issues, while allowing us to coach and mentor the top youth basketball talent from across the African continent.” Tags: Basketball Without Borders Africa, Hoops 4 Hope, Malaria, NBA Cares, Senegal, Willie Green Categories:Global Health Community  


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