All too often we are drawn to the controversies and spectacles that players and coaches create off the court (see Calhoun and Devendorf), and forget to acknowledge those that do the right thing and make meaningful differences in their communities. One such athlete that deserves recognition is former Hoya basketball player Sead Dizdarevic. Last summer, Sead, along with former teammates Ashanti Cook, Darrell Owens, Ramell Ross and Amadou Kilkenny-Diaw and coach Matt Henry, traveled to his home country of Montenegro to conduct basketball camps for local youths.
The purpose of the clinics was to promote athletics while also stressing the importance of education. Dizdarevic told the Washington Post,
"'We'll be teaching them about basketball, but we'll also be teaching them about things that are really important, such as education, which I think is probably the most important thing in my life. I can present myself as a live example of somebody who's been through the challenges of going to school and playing basketball at such a competitive level.'"
Below is a video of last summer's camp.
Due to the overwhelming success of last summer's program, Georgetown has been awarded a seed grant from the United States Department of State to conduct the program across four countries of the former Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, the grant alone will not cover all the expenses required to sustain the camps. Therefore, Georgetown is asking students, alumni and members of the basketball community for pledges and donations to match the initial government funding. For more information on the Georgetown University Basketball Diplomacy Project and instructions on how to donate, please contact Sead at sd372 @ georgetown.edu or check out the links below.