We were very excited to welcome NBA players, legends and executives to the Ennerdale Children’s Village on Friday, July 31. Attendees included NBA players such as Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Chris Paul, and Luol Deng as well as NBA commissioner Adam Silver and other coaches and executives.
The children were thrilled to draw, dance, read and play soccer and basketball with the visitors, who also participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony of a renovated library and new basketball court donated by NBA Cares and the National Basketball Players Association Foundation.
The players also had a pretty good time themselves, as evidenced by their outpouring of photos on social media:
“I think the most important thing is to give children an opportunity to play, an opportunity to get an education, an opportunity for a better future,” said Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “And I think this is a wonderful place for you kids to accomplish that.”
NBA representatives have visited SOS Children’s Villages three times since 2013, and this year the trip coincided with the first NBA Africa Game, which took place on Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa. SOS and two other organizations received proceeds from the game, which SOS will use to fund programs in South Africa.
“We are incredibly thankful for the NBA family’s unwavering commitment to support Ennerdale’s most vulnerable children," said Siphiwe Maphanga, the national director of SOS Children’s Villages in South Africa. "They are playing a pivotal role in the development of children who desperately need their support."