Human trafficking is always a burning issue for every society. That’s why the US Embassy in Athens decided to bring current and former professional basketball players from the NBA and the WNBA to Greece. The US Embassy cooperated with the State Department’s Sports United Office, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) to make it happen.
The aim of the people in charge of the event was to have Greek youth get to know famous basketball players in order to promote sportsmanship and raise awareness of modern day trafficking.
Ashley Robinson, who plays center for the Washington Mystics, and Tracy Murray, the coach of the Tulsa Shock and former Houston Rockets star, were some of the professionals attending the event on April 3. Pedrag Stojakovic, former NBA champion, together with the other two athletes, showed children some basketball techniques and played with them.
NBA players participated in a “Human Slavery-Break the Chain” basketball event at the Athens Olympic Basketball Arena (OAKA), along with many other prominent Greek athletes and artists. The Special Secretariat of Sports and Nutrition of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, and the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention organized the celebrity basketball game to inform more than 5,000 students in the fight against Trafficking in Persons (TIP).
The event was held under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Karolos Papoulias, and was organized with the support of the US Embassy, the International Organization for Migration, the Hellenic Transplant Organization, and UNICEF.
During their visit to Greece, the three basketball stars also met with representatives of organizations working on TIP. They engaged directly with Greek elementary and high school students and discussed the importance of rules, discipline and self-confidence, and how success in athletics could be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom.