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Lakers player want to use basketball to unite a country

By James Brown

Lakers player want to use basketball to unite a country

Lakers player, Wenyen Gabriel, want to use basketball to unite the people of South Sudan after conflict 

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Los Angeles Lakers power forward Wenyen Gabriel wants to use basketball to unite people in his native South Sudan just as Bill Russell did in the United States during the 60's. Gabriel organized a basketball camp in the capital Juba, an initiative he funded himself, on a recent visit to the country, as he believes there's a possibility for more africans to excel at basketball just as he did.

"I pray that we continue to have peace in South Sudan and I want to use basketball to help unite us," told BBC Sport Africa. “When you share a basketball court, you look at the person next to you and that is your brother. It's important for that to trickle on to your regular life.” continue the NBA player, on the reasons why he founded the basketball camp for the people of South Sudan. “Sports bring a lot of positive energy and we need to shift our mind-set away from the negative to a more positive one.”

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A lot of NBA players are committed in helping societies, most of them, try to upgrade the place where they grew up. With all the money player recieve, it's always good to see them use it for the people that need it the most. Gabriel also commented "Coming home here was important. I want to help in rebuilding this country, because nobody is going to build the county except for us, the youth, and people like myself who have learned different skills abroad."

Wenyen Gabriel has been in the NFL for a couple of years playing for different teams such as the Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers and New Orleans Pelicans. In March he sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Even after all this, he continues to care for his roots "If anything I think my services to the country would be more important over in LA right now, where I can hopefully continue to get my next contract and then bring those blessings back. I can help support the community here, I think this is important."

NBA Community service

The NBA has created a program called NBA Care, which provide help to different social issues. Their Programs and events are designed to support communities around the world by inspiring play and teaching basketball’s values to more than 15 million youth, providing an additional 3 million hours of hands-on service to others and leaving a lasting legacy in communities by building 1,000 more safe places to live, learn or play.








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