WASHINGTON, DC/EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (March 2, 2012) – In keeping with the team’s goals of aligning with global organizations, NETS Basketball is creating an association with PeacePlayers International (PPI), an innovative peace-building organization and a leader in the use of sport for social change worldwide.
Inspired by the belief that ‘children who play together can learn to live together,’ PPI has built a proven model for bridging divides and developing community leaders, using basketball to foster mutual respect and understanding among children in divided communities. PPI operates four year-round programs in Israel/West Bank, Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Cyprus. In running a technical assistance program leveraging institutional knowledge, PPI promotes change on a global scale by training organizations around the world to implement “sport for good” projects. Since its founding in 2001, PPI has reached over 52,000 individuals worldwide, and received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2007 ESPYs.
“Through its generous sponsorship of PeacePlayers, NETS Basketball has demonstrated its commitment to the power of sport for social change, providing children around the world with an opportunity to play together, develop friendships, and build a more peaceful future,” said Brendan Tuohey, Executive Director of PeacePlayers International.
“We are proud to support such a worthy and pioneering organization as PeacePlayers International,” said Irina Pavlova, the President of Onexim Sports and Entertainment, which is Mikhail Prokhorov’s company that owns the Nets.
“As a basketball team, we understand that the sport teaches players important life lessons about teamwork and sportsmanship, and we’re excited to help bring people together. This alignment with PeacePlayers also continues our strategy of extending our globalization efforts.”
In recognition of the NETS’ investment in its work, PPI will hold events in each of its core program sites: a joint Protestant-Catholic basketball tournament in Northern Ireland, a multi-ethnic city-wide tournament in South Africa, a summer camp for Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot children in Cyprus, and a peace education retreat in Israel/West Bank to help develop Arab and Jewish youth leaders into coaches.