Denver Nuggets player Kenneth Faried has revealed that his objective in the NBA Africa Game will be to inspire African youth when he represents Team World against a selection of players who will play for Team Africa on Saturday night in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Team World will consist of NBA players from around the world, while Team Africa will be made up of African-born and second generation African players.
Along with Faried, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards and captain Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers will form part of Team World, while Oklahoma City Thunder’s Serge Ibaka, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Gorgui Dieng and captain Luol Deng of the Miami Heat will play for Team Africa.
The game, which is the first of its kind on the African continent, will be played to raise funds for South African charities. Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation will all benefit from the eagerly-awaited encounter.
Tickets for the exhibition match at the 60,000-seater Ellis Park Arena were quickly sold-out when they were released, and fans are excited about the prospect of a first ever NBA game in South Africa.
Faried is equally excited, and wants to use the opportunity to inspire the youth in Africa to realise that they can reach their sporting dreams, irrespective of where they come from.
“I’ve always looked up to guys who came before me like Dennis Rodman who is one of my big favourites,” Faried said to the media in Johannesburg, according to IOL.
“I liked watching Charles Oakley back in the day, Patrick Ewing and the list goes on. There have been so many greats who came before me and paved the way for me. My whole thing is about giving it back, showing the kids that they can make it no matter where you come from,” he added.
“My roots are from Africa and Jamaica, I’m happy to be out here just for the support for my dad. I came out here with an open mind, I know the history. But coming out here for me is about being involved with the community,” Faried explained.
“I tell everybody I don’t know how to take it easy. It’s either I don’t play, or I do and I give it my all. I’m gonna throw dunks, I’m going to give the fans what they want. I know what they want, and I’m gonna give it to them,” the excited NBA star promised.
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