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

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

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the NBA and WNBA, announce that Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Richard Cho, former WNBA player Allison Feaster, Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach and former NBA player Darvin Ham, and former NBA player Marty Conlon will travel as Sports Envoys to Rangoon August 26-31. As the U.S. Department of State’s first Sports Envoy exchange with Burma, this inaugural program will connect with Burmese youth through a variety of sports and cultural activities.

In cooperation with Burma’s Ministry of Sports and the national basketball federation, the envoys will use basketball clinics and sports sessions as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of academics, cooperation, and respect for diversity. They will give workshops at local schools and sports facilities, and learn about the traditional Burmese sport, Chin Lone.

On Sunday, August 26 at 4:00 p.m. local time, the group will participate in a press conference at the Taw Win Center in Rangoon, Burma. Media interested in attending may contact Adrienne Nutzman at the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon at +95 1 536 509 x4396.

Sports Envoys are current and retired professional athletes and coaches that travel overseas to conduct drills and team-building activities, as well as engage youth in a dialogue on the importance of education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity. 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.

For more information, please visit http://exchanges.state.gov/sports/index.html. Media inquiries: contact Anna Griffin at ECA-Press@state.gov of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs or Michael Quinlan at QuinlanMD@state.gov of the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon.

PRN: 2012/1347