On May 24 – 28, 2016, former University of Minnesota star Tommy Davis conducted a basketball camp at the University of Cocody, sponsored by US Embassy Abidjan in collaboration with the Ivoirian Basketball Federation.
Ninety five athletes and coaches took part in the instructional camp, including forty boys and girls, fifteen wheelchair athletes, twenty Special Olympians, ten coaches and ten referees. Each day, “Coach Davis” stressed fundamentals of the game such as shooting technique, passing, team defense, then concluded each session with remarks addressing topics such as sportsmanship, mutual respect, leadership, the empowerment of the disabled and the importance of national reconciliation. Education was also a constant theme of the camp.
In addition to receiving a basketball and t-shirt upon completion of the camp, each participant received an age-appropriate Nouveaux Horizons book. Ambassador McCulley visited the camp early in the week to watch Tommy in action. The President of the Ivoirian Basketball Federation and the President of the Handicapped Sports Association also made time to check out the camp and were very impressed with the comprehensive nature of the program.
Already they have suggested that Tommy return for a longer visit that could allow him to conduct a camp in another part of Cote d’Ivoire. US Embassy Abidjan found the camp to be extremely effective in conveying the Mission’s interest in youth, recognizing the capabilities of the disabled, and strengthening the capacity of Ivoirian institutions.