12th Annual Seed Basketball Forum Taking Place in Senegal
By Nathaniel Simons, The Africa Channel
It would be an understatement to say that the ripple effect of a global culture enamored of basketball has also affected Africa. General Manager Masai Ujiri of the Denver Nuggets affirmed this sentiment in a CNN article from September 2013.
“Some tribes in Sudan and Senegal have an average height of 6-foot-6, which also happens to be the size of the average NBA player. People in Nigeria, Mali and Congo tend to be very big and physical. We need to build a strategy to go into these regions and cultivate the talent through infrastructure and instruction […] Most kids in Africa don’t start playing basketball until they are 13 or 14 years old. This puts them at a disadvantage because they lack the instincts and must work harder to develop,” remarked Ujiri.
Well aware of the need to develop African talent, the Seed Project uses basketball to help teach kids the fundamentals of leadership, team work, and the English language. Launched in 2002, the first component, the Seed Academy, provides high-level academia set in a boarding school environment. Another component includes Jr. Seed, an academic and enrichment program for middle-school-aged boys and girls.
This May (7-11th), the Seed Project is hosting its 12th Annual Hoop Forum in Dakar. The event brings together the most talented youth basketball players from all over Senegal. The weekend will feature:
· Basketball and Coaching Clinics
· All-Star and 3-3 Games
· Community Activities
· Symposium on Sports & Development
· Tourist and Cultural Programs
· Networking Opportunities
Visit the website to learn more: http://www.seedproject.org/#!hoopforum/cx4c