The program is meant to further illustrate both OCP’s and the NBA’s commitment “to the development of the African continent.”
Rabat – Morocco’s Office Cherifien de Phosphates (OCP) is partnering with the National Basketball Association (NBA), to “expand Jr. NBA programs” in Morocco and Rwanda.
Jr. NBA programs are the NBA’s “global youth participation” platform for both boys and girls. The program’s main purpose is to familiarize young people of both genders with the fundamentals of basketball.
Also included in the experience is the teaching of life skills like leadership, team spirit, communication skills, and health awareness. This year, the NBA hopes to reach as many as 51 million young people across 75 countries, according to the press release.
The announcement was made yesterday, September 9, at the opening ceremony of the new basketball court in Ennahda in Khourigba, in central Morocco.
The event was celebrated “ in the presence of OCP chairman and CEO, Mostafa Terrab; NBA Africa Managing Director and Basketball Africa President, Amadou Gallo Fall. 10-time NBA All-Star, Ray Allen, also attended, according to a press release from the organizers.
In the press statement, the OCP group reassured that the joint OCP-NBA platform aims at promoting youth and development-related causes by investing in projects of youth empowerment and sustainable development.
On a practical level, the statement explained, the partnership “will teach life skills” and help build basketball courts in Khourigba and Benguerir in Morocco, and Kigali in Rwanda.
In both African countries, the overall aim is to use “the transformative power of basketball to empower” young people by making them value-driven ambassadors of their respective communities, according to the press release.
An awareness raising platform at its core, the partnership also prides itself on being a reflection venue for cementing a team building spirit and community values among the Moroccan and Rwandan youth.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the newly built basketball court in Khourigba, OCP CEO Mostafa Terrab extolled the leadership, youth empowerment, and community-building values associated with the imitative.
The joint NBA-OCP program, he argued, will be a venue for making young people not only better ambassadors of their communities, but also driven individuals seeking self-improvement and excellence through the mindset of resilience and hard work that comes with sustained practice of a sport like basketball.
“The partnership with NBA is part of the Act4Communicty Initiative, carried out by OCP volunteers, with one of its major objectives being development through sport,” the OCP chairman said.
“The young people here are full of talent and energy, and the goal of this project is to provide them with a framework where they can develop their potential through a spirit of sport excellence and coaching focused on leadership and personal development.”
Fall, the Basketball Africa president, agreed with Terrab.
While expressing his joy and “thrill” at being an essential party in the youth initiative, he stressed the justice and social inclusiveness components of the program. As well as teaching youth excellence and resilience, the platform, he highlighted, also hopes to be a venue where young people learn to break conventional wisdom or stand up to adversity in the way to realizing their potential or achieving their dreams.
He said, “As we continue to push the boundaries of accessibility to our game, the authentic partnership will contribute tremendously to inspire more boys and girls to play the game of basketball and grow with its core values while empowering coaches and programs as role models for the youth in their communities.”
Meanwhile, in Morocco and Rwanda, the program is meant to further illustrate both OCP’s and the NBA’s commitment “to the development of the African continent.” The organizers hope the imitative will spur broader and more far-reaching educational, cultural, and other socio-economic initiatives for both young people and employees of OCP and NBA to be involved in projects which benefit their communities.
In both African countries, the statement noted, the program will “feature 30 boys’ and 30 girls’ school teams competing for their respective league’s leagues’ championship. Each school team will represent one of the 30 NBA teams and will receive corresponding team-branded jerseys for their games.”
The program launches today, September 10 in Morocco at the Salle Omnisport in Bengeurir, while Rwanda’s is set to start on September 21 at the Integrated Polytechnic Center in Kigali.