The NBA is known for promoting humanitarian work among its organization, and this year is no different. The league called on some of its best talent to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa, to train and coach 60 teenage boys for five days, in a newly created program called Basketball Without Borders. Also, many of the volunteers will participate in charitable events. NBA great Dwight Howard narrates an audio and journals the experience. Keep clicking ESSENCE.com to get a glimpse of Howard’s trip while in the Motherland.
By: Jenisha Watts
On the first day of camp, Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard didn’t waste any time working at Cotlands Home Base Care Facility in Soweto, to help create a community garden.
Howard ready to start planting a peach tree with Toronto Raptors power forward Chris Bosh.
A focused Howard and Bosh concentrates on getting the soil just right! Kudos to the lovely fellas for taking initiative.
Retired Houston Rockets star Dikembe Mutombo, who is also a native of Congo, and the Milwaukee Bucks Luc Mbah a Moute (pronounced BAH-ah-MOO-tay) pose with children at the facility.
“This camp changed my life,” Mbah A Moute said.
A cheesing Howard and Bosh proudly show off their finished product.
On day two, former WNBA star Nkeysha Sales joins the fellas outside the Apartheid Museum in South Africa.
Howard reads a wall inked with writings about Africa.
A proud Howard poses next to an image of South African leader Nelson Mandela inside the museum.
Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh learn
a bit about the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
While some of the players learn about African history, Mutombo autographs a lucky little boy’s T-shirt.
Dwight Howard leads his team of guys up a hill as part of an exercise preparing the young men for their scrimmage game in the evening.
A determined camper guards Magic center Howard in an innocent practice game.
Lucky participants who will play against Howard’s team, do warm-ups before the scrimmage.
Two players work on guarding each other before the game starts.
A pepped up Howard cheers on his team.
The NBA star gives a few words of wisdom while all eyes are glued on him.
A jolly Mutombo entertains the kids with a musical selection on a guitar.
A talented Dwight Howard holds a beautiful child on his shoulders.
Mbah a Moute,a Cameroonian, is the first alumnus of the camp Basketball Without Borders. Here, the passionate humanitarian is all smiles with kids from the community.
Howard participates in a community service project with Habitat for Humanity.
Bosh teaches the guys about having communication skills on the court by blindfolding everyone.
Mutumbo and Sales share some camera time with happy fans.
The participants along with NBA players, coaches and officials take a group shot while waving at the cameras.