Sue Wicks Blogs From Jakarta

The NBA and WNBA, the U.S. Department of State�s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs SportsUnited Office is conducting a series of Sports Envoy programs this summer. From May to August, current and former NBA and WNBA players will travel as Sports Envoys to four regions of the world reaching youth in Indonesia, Tunisia, Serbia, Cape Verde and Malawi. The basketball players and coaches will conduct drills and team-building activities, as well as engage local youth in a dialogue on the importance of education, teamwork, leadership, and respect for diversity.

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It�s 11am in Jakarta. The unforgiving equatorial sun is beating on the concrete court as NBA Legend Sam Perkins and I wrap up a two-hour clinic sponsored by the NBA, WNBA and the US State Department. Sam is fighting a losing battle with the sweat running down his face. Armed only with a hand towel, the true test of endurance begins: Picture taking time!

The words �Satu Lagi� ("Just one more") has entered our consciousness and is now part of our vocabulary. The endless line of children seem to love taking shots with their camera more than even Cappie Pondexter likes taking game-winning shots at the Garden. A group of girls in conservative Muslim dress, including head scarves, giggle and smile as they squeeze in close to me to take a photo. I forget the heat and I�m just so grateful in that moment that their bright, smiling faces aren�t covered. A tall, 12-year-old girl sheepishly looks up to me and asks if I will come to her home for a visit. I quickly check with an embassy official to see if it�s possible, seeing as how we have two clinics that day then a dinner with the Ambassador that evening. I�m informed that the girl has no family or home to visit as she is an orphan, and lives in an orphanage run by a Muslim charity. I return to her hopeful face and tell her I can�t come to dinner. She smiles and wraps her arm around my waist, points to her camera and says, �Satu Lagi.�









All photos courtesy of the US Department of State