U.S. Department of State and the NBA Announce Basketball Envoy Program in Senegal

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 24, 2012

The U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), announced today that C.J. Watson of the Brooklyn Nets and former WNBA All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw will travel as Sports Envoys to Senegal August 24-28. This exchange program sends current and retired professional athletes and coaches overseas to conduct clinics and team-building activities as well as to engage youth in a dialogue on the importance of education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity.

In Senegal, Watson and Holdsclaw will hold several co-ed basketball clinics to engage underserved youth in the cities of Dakar and Thies; attend a high school basketball tournament; and participate in an event marking the 10th anniversary of SEEDs, a Senegalese NGO using sports to promote education that was founded by Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA Vice President, Africa.

Through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Division, the U.S. Department of State conducts sports exchange programs to engage youth worldwide. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent over 220 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries to participate in sports envoy programs, including over 40 NBA and WNBA players and coaches.

On Monday, August 27th at 10:30 a.m. local time, Watson and Holdsclaw will participate in a press conference in Dakar, Senegal. Media interested in attending may contact Kristin Stewart at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar at +221 33 829 2221.

For more information, please visit http://exchanges.state.gov/sports/index.html. Media inquires: contact Anna Griffin at GriffinAL@state.gov of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs or Kristin Stewart at StewartKM@state.gov at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar.

PRN: 2012/1345