Uganda: Athletes Leverage Basketball to Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness (September 2009)


In September, National Basketball Association (NBA) star Jason Maxiell of the Detroit Pistons and six-time Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) all-star Nykesha Sales conducted a three-day series of basketball workshops promoting HIV/ AIDS awareness in Kampala, Uganda.

At these clinics, the two professional athletes worked with local basketball coaches and Ugandan youth ages 7-17 in an effort to show them how success in sports can be translated into the development of life skills and achievements in the classroom. The basketball players also highlighted the importance of HIV prevention, treatment and care.

Maxiell and Sales' visit to Uganda was part of the U.S. Department of State's partnership with the National Basketball Association that has enabled current and former NBA and WNBA players to lead basketball clinics in Bahrain, Georgia, Mozambique, the Philippines, Qatar, and Uganda.

Through this program, current and former NBA and WNBA players host a series of basketball clinics abroad to improve basketball skills and foster teambuilding, as well as engage local youth in a dialogue on the importance of education, teamwork, leadership and respect for diversity.

Sponsors of the events in Kampala included Uganda Christian University, Coca-Cola, YMCA, Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations, Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and MTN.


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