January 24, 2013

Tensions between Iran and the US were intensifying in 2008 when American basketball player Kevin Sheppard went to play for the Iranian league. A German filmmaker has brought his unusual story to the cinema.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces that 12 Burmese youth—six boys and six girls—and two coaches will travel to the United States January 7-20.

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters hope to inspire youth during their tour of the UAE. The Harlem Globetrotters, who combine basketball with entertainment, will perform over three days in Dubai and Abu Dhabi... "Nothing means more to us than inspiring the youth around the world to chase their dreams and follow a positive path in life."

...the film is more than a string of cute cross-cultural anecdotes. The documentary was shot in 2009, the year President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected amid mass suspicions of fraud. Protests spread throughout the country and were met with brutal force, particularly in Tehran.

Michael Brooke, the Public Diplomacy officer at the US embassy said: “We hope the visit will inspire more women and girls to become involved in sports and experience the benefits of participation; improved health, greater self-esteem, and greater academic success.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) SportsUnited division announced a basketball exchange program that will send four Zimbabweans -- three teenage girls and a coach -- to the United States for twelve-days of dynamic activities as part of the new Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative.

The two men are practising a brand of public diplomacy uniquely appropriate to two young, athletic leaders, said Heather Conley, senior fellow of the Europe program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, a DC-based think tank.

Bryant entered the gym at Gertz-Ressler High School Thursday where he oversaw a Mandarin exchange program partnered with the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation, an event that featured Chinese exchange students participating in defensive, shooting and dribbling drills. The enthusiastic response obviously highlights the popularity the Lakers' star commands.