U.S. Embassy Empowers Young Lebanese Student Athletes


The U.S. embassy hosted a group of 300 Lebanese boys and girls from the Bekaa valley for a day of basketball, festival games and music at the Saint Coeurs School in downtown Zahle, an embassy statement said.

The students competed in a medley of basketball events to demonstrate the fundamental skills that they have developed through the embassy’s 2010-11 Sports United Youth Basketball Program.

Over the past year, the embassy invested $200,000 to implement the year-long program which began in September 2010. It centered on a series of fourteen youth basketball camps that took place on weekends and after school in rural communities, reaching over 800 young Lebanese boys and girls aged 10 to 14.

The program will also sponsor a week-long, all-star youth basketball camp for a select group of 50 students who participated in the local youth camps. Students will be selected based on their demonstrated leadership potential, teamwork skills, and their passion for basketball, the statement said.

In July 2011, five selected students and one adult chaperone will travel to the U.S. on a grant funded by the embassy’s Sports United program to participate in the Philadelphia Sixers’ summer youth basketball camp. The students will also spend several days in New York City to visit the city’s historical and cultural landmarks, it added.

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