- Published on Monday, 27 August 2012 01:00
- Written by Correspondent
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NBA players Hasheem Thabeet and Luol Deng completed a two-day Sprite sponsored basketball clinic in Dar es Salaam over the weekend and expressed satisfaction that Tanzania was one of African countries endowed with basketball talents.
The talent scouting camp was held at Don Bosco Youth Centre, Upanga, bringing together over 200 youngsters drawn from selected secondary schools in the region of Dar es Salaam. This is the second training bonanza that Sprite has sponsored this year, following a regional clinic that was held at the same venue in June under the tutelage of Hasheem Thabeet.
Currently featuring for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thabeet who is the first Tanzanian-born player to be drafted by an NBA team pledged his commitment to continue holding similar training clinics at home with the aim of identifying basketball talents and promoting basketball in Tanzania.
The former Makongo Secondary student has shown enormous potential and recently signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) in July 2012. Before joining the OKC, Hasheem played for Memphis Grizzlies (NBA), Dakota Wizards (NBA D-League), Houston Rockets (NBA), Rio Grande Valley Vipers (NBA D-League) and Portland Trail Blazers (NBA).
On his part, Chicago Bulls star Luol Deng from Sudanese origin and a recent Olympian, said he felt very proud to conduct such kind of basketball training in Tanzania. “This has been a very successful camp because of the fact that we have discovered a lot of talents,” he said.
Along with Deng, Hasheem joined his fellow OKC teammate at OKC, Serge Ibaka who is participating in the Sprite Slam Basketball Camp in Congo, to share their skills with basketball youth from the African continent.
“Sprite is particularly happy to be involved in the youth basketball programme.
It is our sincere hope that our partnership with the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) and the NBA will help to expose talented basketball players and become part and parcel of a successful basketball story in Tanzania,” says Assistant Brand Manager Coca-Cola Tanzania Warda Kimaro.
Speaking at the launch of the two-day clinic, Assistant TBF Secretary General Michael Maluwe commended Sprite for their commitment to develop the game through various basketball activities.
Sprite, a leading beverage of the Coca-Cola Company, has since 2010 been taking part in a number of basketball activities aimed at improving the standard of basketball in Tanzania.
These include school basketball competitions and activations, youth basketball clinics, bringing to Tanzania US based AND1 team for a series of competitive friendly matches against local teams and refurbishment of basketball courts in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kilimanjaro, Coast, Dodoma and Mbeya.