NBA stars help ru­ral Chi­nese kids

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By MAY ZHOU in Hous­ton mayzhou@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

Young hoop­sters in west­ern China are in for a fast break.

Close to $5,000 was raised at Bas­ket­ball Star Night to help build bas­ket­ball courts for ru­ral school chil­dren in Xin­jiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion on July 6 in Hous­ton.

The char­ity event, hosted by Amer­ica Mod­ern Green (AMG) Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion, USChina Part­ner­ships and Ola­ju­won Ba­teer Dream Academy (OBDA), was at­tended by for­mer NBA stars Ha­keem Ou­la­ju­won, Clyde Drexler, Mengke Ba­teer and Robert Horry.

VIPs in at­ten­dance in­cluded US-China Part­ner­ships chair­man Charles Fos­ter and his wife Lily Chen Fos­ter and Chi­nese Con­sul Yang Song.

AMG auc­tioned off a din­ner with the four for­mer NBA stars through Alibaba’s plat­form to raise the funds. Pro­ceeds will be given to the Chi­nese char­ity One Foun­da­tion to over­see dis­tri­bu­tion of the funds.

“We come to­gether tonight for the love of bas­ket­ball, cul­tural ex­change be­tween China and the US, and char­ity,” said Dil­in­uoer Juma­hong, CEO of OBDA and wife of Ba­teer. “We are happy to have this op­por­tu­nity to help chil­dren out.”

Juma­hong said that OBDA has brought five Chi­nese high school stu­dents to Hous­ton. To­gether with lo­cal young bas­ket­ball tal­ents, they are cur­rently be­ing trained by the four re­tired NBA play­ers present and their ex­pe­ri­ences are be­ing filmed to be made into a re­al­ity TV show that will be aired in China. The char­ity event was also filmed for the show.

“Ev­ery­thing starts with a dream, a dream of many chil­dren from ru­ral China play­ing bas­ket­ball,” Cai said. “But be­cause of poverty, it’s not pos­si­ble for many of them. So we join hands to help chil­dren achieve their dreams.”

“We want to make a dif­fer­ence and have an im­pact. We are happy to be a part of this,” said Ha­keem Ou­la­ju­won.

/ CHINA DAILY MAY ZHOU

For­mer NBA star Ha­keem Ola­ju­won talks to re­al­ity TV show hosts at the Bas­ket­ball Star Night on Fri­day in Hous­ton..

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