Slam Dunk: People-to-People Diplomacy on the Basketball Court

Posted by Ann Stock
February 6, 2011
Basketball Slam Dunk

About the Author: Ann Stock serves as Assistant Secretary of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

People-to-people diplomacy can come in many forms. Last week, 14 basketball coaches from Colombia made connections through basketball. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' SportsUnited exchange program gave them an opportunity to learn best practices from their American counterparts. With nearly one third of the Western Hemisphere's population below the age of 25, this sports exchange was about more than how to win basketball games; it gave coaches an opportunity to collaborate with one another on empowering their players and help today's youth to become tomorrow's leaders.

Check out what Carlos, one of the Colombian coaches, said about his program:

"This experience has given me a breath of fresh air. I've been able to evaluate myself in this constant exchange of life experiences, information, knowledge, [and] learning. And it's so great that basketball has been the framework for it all. It's been a pleasure meeting so many talented people who have been able to guide us and let us experience their teaching -- the cornerstone of their success. I've enjoyed studying how basketball can be an integrating vehicle of social change where the stage (the court) is the meeting point where we all understand each other. Our tool for doing so is the recreational language of the game; we learn about teamwork, discipline, respecting each other, decision making and, in short, how to nourish and develop useful life skills. We've seen how through sports I can approach the world and transform society."

Learn more about the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' SportsUnited Office or follow @AnnatState on Twitter.



jd w.
February 7, 2011

JD W. in India writes:

Nice blog post!

abdalla s.
February 7, 2011

Abdalla S. in Libya writes:

hello i'm a basketball player i play in the National team of libya and i want to get the Opportunity to play in the USA and i need some help with that .. plz massege me back

DipNote Bloggers write:

@ Abdalla -- We have shared your email address with our colleagues in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and someone will be in touch with you directly. Thanks for your interest!


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