Kuala Lumpur – The U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur proudly presents the U.S. Sports Envoys to Malaysia in an official opening ceremony at the Malaysian Basketball Association (MABA). Ambassador Brian D. McFeeters launched the basketball program made possible through a collaboration between the U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur and The Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT). Ambassador McFeeters was joined by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Mohamad bin Haji Alamin and Director General of SEARCCT Dato’ Ganeson Sivagurunathan.
U.S. Sports Envoys Scooter Christensen and Cherelle George, from the Harlem Globetrotters, and Chinny Nwagbo, retired professional basketballer, will engage with youth audiences during the weeklong program Sports in Enhancing and Promoting Authentic Diversity for Unity (SEPADU). The Sports Envoys will lead demonstrations, basketball clinics and speaking engagements in Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. They will conduct practices and exhibition matches, as well as engage in dialogue with schools, youth associations and media to demonstrate how sports can be utilized as a positive outlet for potential at-risk youth to find alternatives to negative behavior.
In his remarks, Ambassador McFeeters said, “The U.S. Sports Envoy program is a testament to our belief that sports can be a powerful tool in promoting peace and unity.”
The Sports Envoy program is a unique component of the U.S. Department of State’s people-to-people diplomacy. The lessons they share from the court – communication, teamwork, resilience, inclusion, and conflict resolution – are critical to leadership development, community building, equality, and peace.