Press Releases

    UNIS/NAR/723
    5 June 2001

    TONI KUKOC HEADLINES
    "BASKETBALL WITHOUT BORDERS" TEAM

    Johnson & Johnson will co-sponsor Basketball Camp

    VIENNA, 5 June (UN Information Service) – Nine National Basketball Association (NBA) players, led by veterans Toni Kukoc of the Atlanta Hawks and Vlade Divac of the Sacramento Kings, will participate in a basketball camp for 50 players ages 12 to 14 years from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Slovenia. The camp will take place in Treviso, Italy, from 29 June to 2 July.

    Three-time European player of the year Toni Kukoc is a native of Split, Croatia. As a teammate of Michael Jordan he won three NBA World Championships with the Chicago Bulls. Kukoc said he is looking forward to "spending time with the kids and talking to them about playing the game, about the importance of sport, staying off the street and not getting involved in drugs".

    Johnson & Johnson also announced that it will join the Vienna-based UN International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) as a co-sponsor of "Basketball Without Borders," ("Košarka bez granica").

    "At Johnson & Johnson, improving the health and welfare of young people around the world is an integral part of the business," said Miloš Dežnak, Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Southeast Europe. The "Basketball Without Borders initiative promotes a healthy and drug-free life. It shows that sport can be a means of overcoming differences and a way of working together to understand one another."

    Johnson & Johnson, one of the world's leading manufacturers of health care products, has 190 companies operating in 51 countries.

    "UNDCP is very pleased that a major international company like Johnson & Johnson is working with us to promote a healthy life for young people through active participation in sports," said UNDCP Executive Director Pino Arlacchi.

    Participants will also attend seminars designed to promote leadership, conflict resolution and living a healthy life without drugs. The camp also marks the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse (26 June). Benetton, which owns the Treviso basketball team, will host the players at the team’s basketball facilities north of Venice. The national basketball federations of each country will choose 10 participants in cooperation with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) based on their basketball skills and leadership abilities.

    Other NBA players participating in the camp include: Zan Tabak (Croatia) and Bruno Sundov (Croatia) of the Indiana Pacers; Peja Stojakovic (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) of the Sacramento Kings; Alex Radojevic (Federal Repubic of Yugoslavia) of the Denver Nuggets; Rasho Nesterovic (Slovenia) of the Minnesota Timberwolves; Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia) and Dragan Tarlac (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) of the Chicago Bulls. Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Igor Kokoskov (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), European basketball players Vrbica Stefanov (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Nenad Markovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) also will help conduct the camp.

    The young players will be outfitted by Champion with footwear provided by Nike. Other co-sponsors of the event include: blu, one of Italy’s major telephone service providers, Spalding, Milka, Ciba Textiles of Austria, Algida, Austrian Airlines, ICN Pharmaceuticals and Tahoe Trading LLC.

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    For more information, please contact:

    Zach Messitte, United Nations, messitte@un.org, (212) 963-2710
    and Helen Wong, NBA, hwong@nba.com, (212) 407-8299