*Barack Obama has announced that through his foundation, he is partnering with NBA Africa to “help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts across the continent.”
As reported by PEOPLE, the initiatives will include Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders Africa and NBA Academy Africa, as well as several family-based social programs.
“For me, basketball has always been more than a game. My first basketball was a gift from my father when I was 10 years old,” Obama said in a video message (see below). “Later on, my grandmother told me she could always tell when I was coming home for dinner because she could hear me bouncing the ball down the sidewalk from her apartment, 10 stories up.”
— NBA Africa (@NBA_Africa) July 27, 2021
He continued, “Like a lot of kids that age, I had occasional fantasies about playing in the NBA. But even though I never had the talent to play at the highest level, basketball still shaped my life. It taught me how to work hard, how to compete, how to be part of a team. I met some of my closest friends on the basketball court, and for a long time I would fit in a game wherever I could.”
Obama chose to partner with the NBA to promote initiatives in Africa that “promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment.”
“Africa has the highest percentage of youth population in the world, and this new generation is poised to create positive transformative change,” he said. “By investing in community, promoting gender equality and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people.”
In related news, Barack and Michelle Obama joined forces with Chris Nee, the “Doc McStuffins” creator, to produce a new animated preschool series for Netflix. Check out the trailer for “Ada Twist, Scientist” below.
The series will launch on September 28.