LOS ANGELES (Basketball Without Borders) - Sixty-seven of the top high school-age boys and girls from 36 countries and territories successfully completed the fourth annual Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global Camp this past weekend with the NBA and FIBA providing elite level coaching on and off the court for the campers.
For the first time, portions of the camp were live-streamed on the Facebook pages of the NBA and FIBA, and it proved a recipe for success with 2 million people tuning in to watch the action and catching a glimpse of the next stars in world basketball.
The campers received tips from a number of major stars from the present and past as well as important figures in the game.
Friday's prominent personalities included five-time NBA All-Star Al Horford (Boston Celtics; Dominican Republic), FIBA EuroBasket 2017 champion and 2018 NBA All-Star Goran Dragic (Miami Heat; Slovenia), former NBA players Adonal Foyle (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Acie Law (U.S.), Pops Mensah-Bonsu (England), Bostjan Nachbar (Slovenia), Cherokee Parks (U.S.) and Tiago Splitter (Brazil); WNBA player Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky; U.S.), former WNBA players Ruth Riley (U.S.) and Michele Van Gorp (U.S.); and USA Basketball coach Don Showalter.
The day featured combine drills and movement efficiency training; shooting competitions and positional skill development; and five on five games before a life skills session.
On Saturday, the campers got instructions from Timofey Mozgov (Brooklyn Nets; Russia), five-time NBA champion Derek Fisher, current NBA assistant coaches John Bryant (Philadelphia 76ers), Ed Pinckney (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jonah Herscu (Los Angeles Lakers) and former NBA champion head coach Paul Westhead.
The day's activities included shooting competitions; team practice; and then five-on-five games in front of league and team personnel as well as media from around the world. It concluded with a meditation and mental imagery session.
Sunday tipped off with a health and wellness session on the importance of sleep, diet and strength for an athlete's ability to perform and recover. The on-court action followed with a warm-up, combine drills, movement efficiency training, shooting competitions and positional skill development. The campers then received on-court instruction and drills from NBA players Sam Dekker (LA Clippers; U.S.) and Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers; Lithuania) before competing in a final series of games with the winning teams advancing to a championship game.
After the competition, Foyle, Women's Basketball Hall of Fame member Jennifer Azzi (U.S.), WNBA President Lisa Borders (U.S.) and NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton (U.S.) led a final life skills session on the importance of hard work, education and accountability.
The BWB Global Camp concluded with the awards ceremony. Nigerian Charles Bassey and Billie Massie of Belgium were named the respective boy and girls MVP of the camp.
Joining Bassey on the male All-Stars were Leandro Bolmaro (Argentina), N'Faly Dante (Mali), Sekou Doumbouya (France), Luka Samanic (Croatia), Francisco Farabello (Argentina), Biram Faye (Senegal), Josh Green (Australia), Killian Hayes (France), A.J. Lawson (Canada), Joel Parra (Spain) and Tyrese Samuel (Canada).
For her part, Massie headlined the female All-Stars which also consisted of Florencia Chagas (Argentina), Kobe King-Hawea (Australia), Haby Niang (France), Jihyun Park (South Korea), Iliana Rupert (France), Jazmin Shelley (Australia) and Han Xu (China).