Aug. 10, 2012
WASHINGTON - For the fifth-straight year, former Georgetown University men's basketball player Sead Dizdarevic (C'07) led a group to host its annual "Basketball Diplomacy Camp" from July 29 to August 2 in Bar, Montenegro. The Basketball Diplomacy Camp, coordinated jointly by Georgetown along with the United States Embassy in Podgorica, Montenegro, brought approximately 50 boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 18.
Georgetown's Center for Intercultural Education and Development (CIED) has been organizing "Basketball Diplomacy Camps" and working with the young student-athletes from the Balkans to stress the importance of education, leadership, and conflict resolution.
Dizdarevic was joined by former teammates Darrel Owens, Amadou Kilkenny-Diaw and Omari Faulkner, as well as former men's basketball manager Chris Golski and former women's basketball players Kenya Kirkland Monica McNutt.
Led by Dizdarevic, the camp hosts student-athletes from underprivileged regions of Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo. In addition to having an interest in basketball, participants have excelled academically and will have a good understanding of the English language.
"The Basketball Diplomacy Camp has been a great experience and has grown year after year," Dizdarevic said. "It's a tremendous experience for the student-athletes from the Balkans and for the counselors from the United States. I'm really thankful to everyone for their support, including Georgetown University and our alumni, and United States State Department."
As a student-athlete on Georgetown's 2007 NCAA Men's Final Four basketball team, Dizdarevic learned the importance of education in the development of a successful athlete. A native of Montenegro, he recognized the need to create a program that emphasizes the importance of sports, academics and leadership for young student-athletes in his homeland of Montenegro and the Balkans.
The program is co-sponsored by the United States Department of State and Georgetown University. Previous programs have been very successful and extremely beneficial to the young student-athletes from the Balkans. Through sports, Public Diplomacy has proven to be an effective way to build bridges across ethnic, religious and cultural divisions and strengthen the bonds of friendships and understanding between people of the United States and people in the Balkans. The Basketball Diplomacy Camp has limited resources, so Georgetown University is actively seeking matching funds to ensure and enhance the continued success of the program.
Individuals, groups, organizations and businesses interested in supporting these efforts are asked to contact Sead Dizdarevic at email@example.com.