‘Live, learn and play 2015 finals’ to take place in Senegal


The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Thursday that the finals of this year’s ‘Live, Learn and Play’ (LLP) program will take place May 24 at Marius Ndiaye Stadium in Dakar, Senegal.
The finals will be hosted in conjunction with the SEED Project’s (Sport, Education & Economic Development) Hoop Forum.
SEED Project Alum Gorgui Dieng of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri, and WNBA Legend Astou Ndiaye will attend both the finals and the Hoop Forum.
The Atlanta Hawks SkySquad dunk team will provide entertainment at the LLP Finals with their acrobatic dunk displays.
‘Live, Learn & Play’ is a strategic partnership between the NBA and USAID designed to build local organisational capacity and positively impact Senegalese boys and girls ages 13-17.
LLP uses the values of the game, including leadership, hard work, respect and teamwork, to promote youth development and citizenship.
SEED Project, the Thais-based non-profit organization that has been developing student-athletes in Senegal since 2002, is the local implementing partner of the after-school program.
Upon completion of the finals, nearly 1 000 youth in 26 schools and community centers in the Dakar and Thies will have participated in the twice-weekly training across the year.
Another core component of LLP is its comprehensive coaching mentor ship and development program. NBA coaches have now trained 56 local coaches, 13 of whom are women, to implement the LLP basketball and life-skills curriculum.
The 13th edition of Hoop Forum will take place in Thies and Dakar May 21-24. The forum will bring together entities representing public and private sector organizations along with individuals that use sport as a tool for development across Africa.
The four-day event is an opportunity for attendees to observe and take part in basketball camps, community engagement events, and cultural activities.
The NBA has a long history in Africa with more than 35 players from the continent having featured on NBA rosters since Hakeem Olajuwon was drafted in 1984.
Through NBA Cares, 58 places to live, learn or play have been created in Africa, and Basketball without Borders Africa has been held 12 times. The league opened an African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010.
On August 1, 2015, Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg will host NBA Africa Game 2015, the first NBA game on the continent, in a Team Africa versus Team World format.