NBA, WNBA, Africare, ExxonMobil Launch Youth Initiative In Nigeria
The NBA, Africare and ExxonMobil announced the launch of "Power Forward," a youth engagement initiative that will use basketball to develop health, leadership and life skills in Nigeria. Nigerian native and Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, fellow countryman and former NBA player Obinna Ekezie and three-time WNBA champion Swin Cash joined leading Nigerian government officials in tipping off the program Tuesday during a two-day launch event in Abuja. “Power Forward” is being introduced at 10 public and private high schools in Abuja and will engage 300 students, with equal representation of boys and girls. This includes a curriculum that teaches leadership skills and builds health awareness through a combination of classroom and athletic activities. NBA VP of Development in Africa Amadou Gallo Fall said, "The NBA and WNBA are committed to working with our partners across Africa to use the power of basketball to positively impact social change." The launch was marked by a two-day “tip-off” event held at the Government Secondary School in Wuse and the Old Parade Ground in Abuja. Olajuwon, Ekezie and Cash joined 100 youth participants on the court for a series of basketball drills (NBA).