South Africa's basketball community

Nash spreading the word about basketball in (South) Africa

By on June 21, 2010 in News


ESPN recently reported that Steve Nash is in South Africa for the World Cup, and is spreading the word about basketball while he’s here:

“Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash (190-G-74, college: Santa Clara), who was born in Johannesburg, dropped by Discovery Park to play soccer with Patrick Vieira, formerly of the French national team, and Lucas Radebe, who used to play for the South Africa.

It wasn’t just a coincidence, though. Nash was joined by the Milwaukee Bucks’ Luc Mbah a Moute and Obinna Ekezie, the former Maryland star who spent a few years in the NBA before playing overseas, as part of the NBA’s campaign to extend its influence in Africa.

The NBA opened an office in Johannesburg this spring to help its outreach. The NBA and soccer stars played both hoops and soccer with kids from the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.”

In the article, Steve makes a key statement about the game:

“‘I think the game of basketball could be huge in Africa,’ Nash said. ‘What’s important is that it’s an easy game to play. If you put up a hoop, a kid can play with his ball, which is very similar to soccer. I think that’s what makes them the two top sports in the world, because it’s easy and accessible.'”

The key lies in accessibility. Soccer is much easier as only a ball is needed, whereas a hoop is also needed for basketball. f there is nowhere for our young kids to play, how can they learn to play and love the game!?

As we noted in a previous article, Amadou Gallo Fall (who is heading up the Johannesburg NBA offices in South Africa) made the same point infrastructure and accessibiliity is incredibly important!

If you have some ideas how we can improve this in South Africa to give people more places to play basketball, please share your thoughts here. We would love to hear your ideas!

Thanks to Africabasket for the link to the original ESPN story.

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