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Press Releases 2010

Ambassador Congratulates Tanzanian NBA Program Participants

November 10, 2010
Ambassador Lenhardt meets Tanzania Basketball Federation officials and NBA youth program participants on November 9, 2010. (Photo: U.S. Embassy, Dar es Salaam)

Ambassador Lenhardt meets Tanzania Basketball Federation officials and NBA youth program participants on November 9, 2010.

On November 9, Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt met with Alphaeus Kisusi, Sunday Edward, and Evans Davies, three young basketball players selected to represent Tanzania at a U.S. program sponsored by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Coca Cola-Sprite East Africa from November 18 - 25, 2010. The three will join 12 other youth from Kenya, Uganda, Angola, and Mozambique and visit NBA games and basketball clinics in Washington, D.C. and Memphis, Tennessee, where they will also meet Hasheem Thabeet, a Tanzanian player for the Memphis Grizzlies. The three Tanzanian participants were selected for the program by NBA stars Steve Smith and Marty Conlon during a basketball clinic competition in Dar es Salaam last September. They were accompanied to the Embassy by Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) General Secretary, Alexander Msoffe and Assistant Secretary General, Michael Maluwe.

The Ambassador congratulated the basketball players and urged them to continue their education: "An education is essential to achieve anything you want. It is the one thing no one can take away from you." He urged them to take advantage of this program's opportunity to expand their horizons and return to Tanzania with a stronger commitment to academic and athletic excellence. The Ambassador also lauded TBF's leadership and that of Coca Cola-Sprite for sponsoring this program to empower Tanzanian youth in partnership with the NBA and the American people.

Public Affairs Officer Ilya Levin and Deputy Public Affairs Officer Roberto Quiroz II hosted a luncheon for the guests at the U.S. Embassy, and addressed their questions on U.S. cultural issues.

The basketball clinics for Tanzanians started last year after the U.S. Embassy sent 20 basketball coaches to the U.S. for three weeks under the "Sports Envoy" program. Upon their return to Tanzania, the coaches worked with the NBA, TBF, and Coca Coca-Sprite to promote visits to Dar es Salaam by former and current NBA stars.* The coaches also established new opportunities for youth such as this upcoming trip.