Former NBA Stars Pay Courtesy Call on Vice President Boakai

Thursday, 9th April 2009
Monrovia, Liberia - The visiting former and current stars of the National Basketball Association (NBA) of America, accompanied by Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Marbue Richards and other Liberian sports officials, on April 9 paid a courtesy call on Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at his Capitol Building office.
Briefing Vice President Boakai, the head of the delegation, Mr. Bill Alexson of Sports Power International, said they were in the country to promote goodwill between the United States and Liberia, and were overwhelmed with the reception accorded them  since their arrival in the country.
“We bring a message of hope, and our visit is intended to encourage Liberian youth to develop interest in the game of basketball,” Mr. Alexson said.
He said while in the country, they would conduct training workshops for basketball coaches and players as well as play friendly matches with the Liberia National Basketball team and first division teams in the country.
In response, Vice President Boakai welcomed the NBA stars, and said their visit would help promote the reconciliation and healing process of the country, and help to detraumatize the nation’s youth who have been exposed to untold suffering as a result of years of civil conflict.
“This country has gone through a lot of trouble. We are trying to settle down and your presence here is a vote confidence in the country,” the Liberian Vice President said.
He thanked the stars for choosing to visit Liberia, and told them that basketball, one of the most popular sports in Liberia, is a game that needs to be developed, especially after the civil conflict that has devastated all sectors of the country.
In remarks earlier, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Marbue Richards said the NBA stars’ visit was arranged by the United States based Friends of Liberian Basketball.
He said the stars, who arrived in the country on April 8, will depart the following week.
The atars are: Bill Alexson, Chuck Herdenreich, Joe Udeoji, Jontae Vinson, Kenneth Crudup, Bruce Crevier, Ramall L. Goodrich, Jau Brantley, Anthony Bonner, Tacorey Benton and Ryan Hynes.