SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After the Summer League is over, Kings’ General Manager Vlade Divac is returning home to help European youth basketball players sharpen their skills at a camp that he helped start over 15 years ago.
Divac will be joined by his former Kings teammate and current colleague Peja Stojakovic and current player Bogdan Bogdanovic. Together they will participate in the 17th Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Europe from Aug. 15-18 in Belgrade, Serbia. Divac attended the inaugural BWB Europe camp in July 2001 in Italy.
The first BWB camp was put on by Divac and Toni Kukoc, former Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks player, along with team members from the Yugoslav national team. The basketball players worked with 50 children from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia and Montenegro.
The camp will be hosted by the NBA, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and the Basketball Federation of Serbia. BWB Europe 2018 will also include NBA Cares community outreach efforts with youth in Belgrade, including packing and delivering care packages to young people dealing with illnesses.
“We’re very pleased to bring the Basketball Without Borders program to Serbia for the very first time,” said FIBA National Federations & Sport Director, Zoran Radovic. “Belgrade lives and breathes basketball and the country as a whole boasts a wealth of talented young players. We look forward to teaming up with the NBA and the Basketball Federation of Serbia to put the top boys and girls from across Europe through their paces.”
BWB has reached more than 3,200 participants from 127 countries and territories since 2001, with more than 55 former campers drafted into the NBA or signed as free agents. A record 24 former BWB campers were on opening-night rosters for the 2017-18 season
BWB Europe 2018 will feature a number of current and former NBA players including Nemanja Bjelica (Minnesota Timberwolves, Serbia); Bogdan Bogdanovic (Sacramento Kings, Serbia); Gary Harris (Denver Nuggets, USA); Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets, Serbia) and Frank Kaminsky (Charlotte Hornets, USA/Serbia). Vlade Divac (Sacramento Kings, Serbia) and Peja Stojakovic (Sacramento Kings, Serbia) who both took part in the inaugural 2001 BWB Europe camp will also attend, with additional players, former players to be announced.
“Hosting Basketball Without Borders in Belgrade is symbolic for the NBA since the first BWB camp brought together 50 young men from Eastern Europe more than 15 years ago,” said NBA Senior Vice President, International Basketball Operations, Kim Bohuny. “The region has a deep connection to and history with the sport of basketball, and the level of talent in the region and throughout Europe is at an all-time high. We look forward to providing the top young players on the continent with an opportunity to learn from and compete against one another.”
BWB holds other camps around the world including, BWB Asia which was held in Delhi National Capital Region, India from May 30- June 2, and BWB Africa which is set for Aug. 1-4 in Johannesburg, South Africa.