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NBA Africa Game 2017 players visit SOS Children’s Village Ennerdale in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Ahead of the National Basketball Association’s Africa Game, players came to SOS Children’s Village Ennerdale to host a basketball clinic and spend time with the children, mothers, staff as well as the greater community that the SOS Children’s Village supports.

The players spent the afternoon playing and interacting with children on a basketball court built by the NBA as part of the league’s NBA Cares initiative. They also took time to go into their sponsored houses, which the NBA renovated, as well as a library they helped refurbish.

The NBA Africa Game 2017, which took place on Saturday, August, 5th in Johannesburg, was played in support of SOS Children’s Villages South Africa, as well as UNICEF and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Children and caregivers from Ennerdale got tickets to attend the sold out game. The exhibition game is part of the NBA's Basketball without Borders Africa initiative.

Players that visited the village were either born in Africa or were second-generation Africans: Thabo Sefolosha (most recently with the Atlanta Hawks; Switzerland; parent from South Africa), Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Clint Capela (Houston Rockets; Switzerland; parents from Angola and Congo), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal; BWB Africa 2009), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011), Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks; Tunisia), Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers; U.S.; parent from Nigeria) and Dennis Schroder (Hawks; Germany; parent from The Gambia).

Amongst the athletes that brought joy and excitement to the children was footballing royalty, former Arsenal and France star, Thierry Henry, who is one of the ambassadors for the NBA Africa game.

"We are grateful for the love and support that the NBA team always shows the children and staff when they visit our village," said Sam Motsitsi, programme director of the Ennerdale village. "This will always be remembered as the day of healing the wounds, the spirit of sharing and the day of appreciation. As Oprah Winfrey said: `Be thankful for what you have; you will end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.'"