After the football stars… LeBron James in Saudi Arabia “inspiring a great generation.”

2023-09-08 22:17:16

September 08, 2023 22:17 Last updated: September 08, 2023 22:20

LeBron James, one of the most famous athletes in the world and the all-time leading scorer in the American Basketball League (NBA), made his first visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he participated in two training sessions with the players of the Saudi youth basketball team and some players of the women’s first team.

Dr. Ghassan Tashkandi, President of the Saudi Basketball Federation, expressed his happiness with James’ visit, which will last for three days. He said: “We are honored to welcome LeBron James to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today. We all felt great joy when we saw the reactions of the male and female players and the smiles on their faces when he entered the hall. I would like to thank him for the passion he showed during the training session and for allowing his time to inspire the new generation.” Among the male and female players of our sport in the Kingdom.”

He added: “LeBron is more than just an athlete and his influence on young men and women extends far beyond the world of sports only. I am sure that his visit today and his interaction with the male and female players created memories for a lifetime and fulfilled their dreams.”

He continued: “The sports stars who come to the Kingdom are of great importance in inspiring, uniting and exciting the new generation of male and female athletes in Saudi Arabia, and I believe that the superstar LeBron is considered one of the best people capable of achieving this thing.”

Participants in the training session, organized by the Saudi Basketball Federation at Al Azm Academy in Riyadh, had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to benefit from LeBron James’ advice and experience in dribbling and shooting.

The player began his career in the NBA 20 years ago, and broke many distinguished records, winning four league championships, the Most Valuable Player award four times, the Finals MVP award four times, and two Olympic gold medals.

Saudi Arabia has become one of the most prominent main destinations for hosting the most prominent international sporting events, including the “3×3 Basketball World Tour Championship,” which was hosted by the city of Jeddah twice and as part of the Diriyah Season activities last year.

Sports in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are witnessing a huge transformation at all levels, as the percentage of sports federations has increased by 50% over the past four years, and the percentage of sports participation and physical activity among adults has increased to 48% after it was 13% in 2015.

Basketball, in particular, has witnessed major developments over the past years, as participation in Saudi Arabia has increased by 54% since 2018, thanks to dedicated programs throughout the Kingdom.

The first generation of Saudi women basketball players includes 240 players. The number of registered teams increased significantly, from 45 teams in 2018 to 105 teams this year, including 28 women’s teams. Six national teams for men and women also represent the Kingdom in regional and world championships.

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