Monday, June 15, 2009

Obama urges Tanzania to develop basketball.

US President Barak Obama, has implored Tanzanians to support, promote and develop the game of basketball. Obama is a basketball fond and is well known to be a die hard fan of the NBA top side Chicago Bulls.

According to President Jakaya Kikwete’s Assistant Press Officer Premy Kibanga, Obama passed the message when the Tanzanian president toured the US, and met Obama at the White House on May 21.

Kibanga unveiled variety of gifts that President Kikwete received from Obama, including a Chicago Bulls number 9 jersey, bearing Kikwete’s name. She also displayed a ball signed by top Chicago Bulls players, including guard-Kirck Hinrich, Derrick Rose (guard) and forward Luol Deng.

President Kikwete, who is also a basketball lover, received pictures of the top Bulls players. Kibanga said President Kikwete in kind also presented Obama with a pair of effigy made in Tanzania.
Kikwete, who became the first African president to meet President Obama, assured his counterpart that Tanzania will continue making efforts to develop the sport to the highest level possible.

President Kikwete has been directly involved in supporting basketball in Tanzania, the game he played competitively in school.
He was the patron of the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) before he was elected president in 2005.
Last year, president Kikwete attended a basketball match of Women National Basketball Association (WNBA) league, between Washington Mystics and Chicago Sky at Veriton Centre.

During the match, 'Basketball Diplomacy' was announced between Tanzania and the United States. He once had audience with US-based Tanzanian basketball player Hasheem Thabeet, and advised the towering 19-year-old to put a lot of effort both in education and sports for his own good.
The president also asked the 7-foot-3-265-pound centre, who has now entered the NBA draft, to take advantage of his position as one of USA's best find to concentrate on what he is doing and refrain from engaging in unproductive activities.

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