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Young Players from Greece and Turkey Selected
|Basketball without Borders to Open on July 4th in Istanbul|
|ISTANBUL, 21 JUNE 2002 - The United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced the selection of 48 young basketball players from Greece and Turkey to participate in this year's Basketball without Borders camp. The camp will be held at the Darussafaka Ayhan Sahenk Hall, 4-8 July, in Istanbul, Turkey.|
The Turkish and Hellenic Basketball Federations chose the campers based on their basketball and leadership skills. The players will be divided into four teams (Grizzlies, Kings, Pistons and Suns) without regard to their nationality. In addition to basketball instruction and competition, the young players will share living quarters with their new teammates, eat three meals a day together and participate in seminars led by the United Nations intended to promote leadership, conflict resolution and living a healthy life without drugs.
The coaches for the camp include some of the NBA's emerging stars. Hedo Turkoglu (Sacramento Kings) is a native of Turkey and a key member of the Turkish national basketball team. Peja Stojakovic (Sacramento Kings) is originally from Yugoslavia but played professional basketball in Greece and is fluent in Greek. Antonis Fotsis of the Memphis Grizzlies is of Greek descent. Turkish international players Mirsad Turkcan (CSKA Moscow), Ibrahim Kutluay (Panathinaikos BSA Athens) and Kerem Tunceri (Efes Pilsen Istanbul) and Greek international players Theodoros Papaloukos (Olympiakos Athens) and Dimitris Papanikolaou (Olympiakos Athens) also will coach at the camp. Each professional player will be assigned to one of the camp teams and will work with the children individually.
"[The children] watch on TV and read the news and they can pick up on all the political problems between Greece and Turkey", said Turkoglu. "But this will show that the kids can be brought together".
"The relationship of the two countries has not been so good in the past, and now people are trying to do something to bring the two countries closer", said Fotsis. "I think this is a good opportunity to do that".
The inaugural Basketball without Borders took place in July 2001 in Treviso, Italy, with Vlade Divac of the Sacramento Kings, Toni Kukoc of the Atlanta Hawks and five other NBA players from the former Yugoslavia uniting to work with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYRO Macedonia, Slovenia and Yugoslavia.
The Darussafaka Ayhan Sahenk facility in downtown Istanbul will host Basketball without Borders in conjunction with the Turkish and Hellenic Basketball Federations and the F?d?ration Internationale de Basketball (FIBA). Corporate and foundation co-sponsors include Sprite Turkey, Nike, Champion Europe, Garanti Bank of Turkey, Spalding, Olympic Airways, Gatorade and the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation.
The following is a complete list of the coaches and players participating in Basketball without Borders:
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Emir Turam, Turkish Basketball Federation, email@example.com, +90 212 679 74 20 (ext. 113)
Eleni Samartzi, Hellenic Basketball Federation, +30 10 6856555
Zach Messitte, United Nations, firstname.lastname@example.org, (212) 963-2710
Zoran Radovic, FIBA, email@example.com +49-89 74 81 58 0
INTERNATIONALES ZENTRUM WIEN POSTFACH 500, A-1400 WIEN, ?STERREICH TEL.: 26060/4666/4677 FAX: 26060-5899 Email: UNIS@unis.un.or.at