Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) July 17, 2012
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only Association comprised of NBA, ABA and Harlem Globetrotters alumni, today announced a working partnership with the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) involving a trip to Israel for NBRPA Members from July 30 to August 7. Former NBA and ABA players embarking on the Israel tour include: Stephen Bardo, Dr. Dick Barnett, Kenny Battle, Willie Burton, Joe Barry Carroll, Cedric Ceballos, Dale Ellis, Spencer Haywood, Stephen Howard, Marvin Roberts, Danny Schayes, Sedric Toney, Sam Vincent and Jerome Williams. Schayes and Williams will serve as co-leaders for the educational seminar, and additional former NBA/ABA/Globetrotters Legends may be added to the trip in coming days.
This new initiative, called Athlete Ambassadors for Israel, was created by AIEF to bring together highly successful former basketball stars and others involved in professional sports who want to learn more about the U.S./Israel relationship and how that impacts the political climate of the Middle East. This NBRPA leadership program will have multiple components centered on an intensive educational seminar in Israel hosted by AIEF. Since the early 1990s AIEF has produced highly regarded educational trips to Israel for hundreds of important national policymakers and community, religious and business leaders. The educational mission will empower the former athletes’ voices regarding Middle Eastern issues, in addition to providing a one-of-a-kind networking opportunity with colleagues and other leaders from around the country.
“This will be my fourth trip to Israel and I know our coalition of former NBA and ABA players will learn a great deal that will be shared stateside upon the conclusion of our educational mission,” said Schayes, an 18-year NBA veteran who played in more than 1,200 career games. “It’s always eye-opening to travel to another part of the world, but visiting Israel is especially unique in that it provides the opportunity to gain first-hand insight pertaining to the ever-changing political climate of the Middle East. On behalf of the 14 former NBA and ABA players participating in this educational visit, I would like to thank the American Israel Education Foundation for putting the trip together.”
The AIEF Educational Seminar in Israel will provide the NBRPA’s Legends with seven incredible days dedicated to learning about Israeli society and politics while walking in the land of the Bible. The program is intensive and educational, with 14-hour days the norm. Trip participants will leave Israel with a greatly enhanced understanding of the history and people of Israel and the issues that impact the U.S./Israel relationship. The number of participants is kept small intentionally to allow for greater interaction with speakers and each other.
During their time in Israel, NBRPA Legends will see and experience some of the most important religious and political sites in Israel while participating in a series of meaningful discussions with a wide variety of government officials, military personnel, academics, community activists and journalists. The Legends will have the opportunity to meet Palestinian representatives to gain their perspective on the issues of the day. They will learn about unique Israeli approaches to education and immigration, providing health care to diverse populations and promoting civil society while facing multiple threats. The NBRPA Legends will also host one or more youth basketball clinics in Israel – including one with Israeli and Palestinian youth through Peace Players International, a widely-respected international conflict resolution organization. Finally, the NBRPA Legends will also have the opportunity to meet with leading Israeli sports figures during a special sports dinner in their honor.
“On behalf of the NBRPA, I am extremely honored to have our organization – comprised of the greatest players in professional basketball history – partner with AIEF on this exciting initiative,” said NBRPA CEO Arnie D. Fielkow. “Our NBRPA Legends are great ambassadors both on and off the court, and I am confident that their trip to Israel will be one of tremendous learning and partnership.”
About the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA and Harlem Globetrotters. It is a 501(c) 3 organization with a mission to develop, implement and advocate a wide array of programs to benefit its members, supporters and the community. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D. Fielkow is the CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes President & Chairman of the Board Robert A. (Bob) Elliott, Vice President Otis Birdsong, Treasurer Marvin Roberts, Secretary Steve Hayes, Past President Dr. George W. Tinsley Sr., Thurl Bailey, Harvey Catchings, James Donaldson, Johnny Newman, LaRue Martin and Danny Schayes. For more information, please visit http://www.LegendsofBasketball.com.
About the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF)
The American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF) is the charitable organization affiliated with AIPAC, America's pro-Israel lobby. AIEF is a charitable and educational 501(c)(3) organization that supports select educational programs including Middle East research, educational materials and conferences, and leadership programs for university students. The seminars in Israel that AIEF sponsors for members of Congress and other influential political and community leaders help educate them about the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship.