Sports Diplomacy tipped off 2013 with the first-ever State Department Burmese sports visitor program. With support from the NBA, the U.S. Department of State brought 12 Burmese youth—six boys and six girls—and two coaches to the U.S. for a ten-day basketball exchange. During their time in Washington, D.C. and Charlotte, NC, the group learned about sports in the U.S. by participating in basketball clinics with their American peers and engaging in sessions on nutrition, conflict resolution, and disability sports. The program built on the Sports Envoy program that sent Charlotte Bobcats General Manager Rich Cho, former WNBA player Allison Feaster, current Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham, and former NBA player Marty Conlon to Burma as Sports Envoys in August 2012. George Mason University’s Center for Sport Management served as the cooperative partner for the visitor program.
January 26, 2018