Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 20, 2009


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) SportsUnited Office, in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), is sending the President of the WNBA, Donna Orender, to Lebanon as a Sports Envoy. Orender, an All-Star in the Women’s Professional Basketball League and an All-American basketball player in college, will be accompanied by former NBA star Rolando Blackman and WNBA player Ebony Hoffman.

During the five-day trip, October 20-25, 2009, these Sports Envoys will visit four cities in Lebanon where they will conduct leadership clinics for coaches and share their basketball expertise with over 350 youth. They will also provide guidance to the participants about nutrition, strength and conditioning, and team building.

In July of this year, Orender and Blackman participated in an ECA Sports Visitor program that brought twelve Lebanese basketball coaches to the United States. During their program Orender hosted the coaches at a Washington Mystics game and Blackman conducted a basketball skills clinic for the participants. Orender and Blackman were invited by the Lebanese coaches to teach in Lebanon. While there they will promote cross-cultural dialogue through basketball skills clinics and increase understanding of America by sharing their professional and life experiences.

For more information, contact Darlene Kirk at the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, 202-632-6452 or kirkdx@state.gov. Starting October 21st follow this program through the participants’ blog at http://exchanges.state.gov/sports.



PRN: 2009/1046