Embassy Abidjan Teams Up with NBA for Junior League Basketball

Côte d’Ivoire’s leading business, sports, entertainment, and government figures gathered at the U.S. Embassy’s Chief of Mission Residence for a celebration of the National Basketball Association’s six-week Junior Summer League on September 23. The party included a hip-hop acrobatic performance by the Philadelphia 76ers “Flight Squad.” Basketball is growing as both a business and sport in Côte d’Ivoire, and the Embassy supports the NBA initiative as part of an overall goal of promoting inclusive economic growth and democratization through youth engagement.  “Sports and basketball in particular, helps teach our youth teamwork, discipline, respect for adversaries and fair play,” Chargé des Affaires Andrew Haviland told the crowd.  “For all these reasons, basketball is a very popular sport among Americans.”  The NBA, which held the finals for the Junior League the following Saturday, will initiate a nationwide league for high-school students with 60 boys and girls teams in January.