U.S. Department of State Announces Basketball Sports Visitor Program with Youth from Burma

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 4, 2013

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces that 12 Burmese youth—six boys and six girls—and two coaches will travel to the United States January 7-20. The basketball exchange program, with support from the National Basketball Association (NBA), marks the first State Department Sports Visitor program with Burma. Throughout the program, the group will learn about sports in the United States by participating in basketball clinics with their American peers and engage in educational sessions on nutrition, conflict resolution, and disability sports.

The program builds on the first-ever Sports Envoy program in Burma, that sent Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rich Cho, former Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Allison Feaster, current Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham, and former NBA player Marty Conlon to Burma as Sports Envoys in August 2012.

The basketball exchange participants, ages 15-17, will visit North Carolina to attend a Charlotte Bobcats game and take part in a clinic with Cho, who was born in Burma, and Bobcats players. In Washington, D.C., the group will attend a Washington Wizards game and meet team members.

SportsUnited is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ division devoted to sports diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. Athletes and coaches from a range of sports are chosen to conduct clinics, visit schools, and engage with youth abroad in a dialogue on the importance of education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity. The NBA has partnered with SportsUnited since 2005, helping to host Sports Visitors from 20 countries and sending nearly 60 current and former NBA and WNBA players and coaches to travel to more than 30 countries as Sports Envoys.

For more information, contact Anna Griffin of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, at eca-press@state.gov.

PRN: 2013/0005