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NBA star Kobe Bryant set to entrall UAE fans

(KT Report) / 20 August 2013

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant will be present in this part of the world for the first time ever, to take part in an exhibition match and to hold clinics.

The action-packed Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend, presented by Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), is in support of diabetes awareness and will be held on September 26 and 27 under the patronage of Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development, and Chairman of the General Authority for Youth and Sports Welfare.

During the course of the weekend, Bryant will make a number of appearances with the highlight being the highly anticipated celebrity basketball game on September 27 at the state-of-the-art Knights Arena at American University in Dubai.

Tickets for the celebrity basketball game are available online at timeouttickets.com. An interactive official website, www.kobefitnessuae.com has been launched to provide detailed information for the weekend events including profiles on the players, a schedule of events, as well as a chance to win tickets for the game by testing your health and fitness knowledge.

Bryant will lead the warm-up and coach a team of celebrity players, fittingly called Team Black Mamba. Kobe’s team includes a number of high-profile, household names in the region.

Playing against Team Black Mamba will be the Real Madrid basketball legends, part of the world’s most successful sports franchise whose value Forbes recently pegged at more than $3 billion.

The basketball game is sure to be fast-paced and full of electrifying highlights as the athletes showcase their skills. Fans will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a glimpse inside the mind of the five time champion and witness firsthand his charismatic and humorous personality as Bryant will wear a wireless microphone during one half of the game so the crowd can hear his every word.

Assistant coach of Team Black Mamba will be Rachel Omolewu, three time USA National Physique Committee overall figure champion and health & fitness expert.

The line-up of players on Team Black Mamba include: Soulja Boy, music artist and CEO of SODMG Records whose hit single ‘Crank That’ topped the US charts for several weeks; Virgin Radio Dubai popular personalities Kris Fade and Brent Black; Mohamed Al Mubarak, deputy CEO of Aldar Properties; Marwan Parham, aka DJ Bliss, TV presenter of the popular “That’s Entertainment” show and one of the region’s top DJs; Mohammed Abdrabboh, general counsel at the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC); and Nathalie Junebie aka Chikay, popular radio jockey Tag 91.9FM. 

Two surprise celebrity players will be announced on August 26 and September 2 respectively, with one expected to be a former USA professional basketball player.

The Real Madrid basketball legends, who will take on Team Black Mamba, are coached by Juan Antonio Corbalan, himself a former Olympic Games basketball player who competed in the Summer Games in Munich, Moscow and Los Angeles.

Rafael Rullan, president of the Real Madrid basketball legends, is the assistant coach. He is also a former basketball player and was a major contributor to Real Madrid’s three Euroleague titles.

The line-up includes two former US professional basketball players including Joseph Arlauckas, who played for Sacramento, and Zan Tabak, who played for Toronto and Indiana prior to joining the Real Madrid team. 

Other Real Madrid basketball legends on the roster are Antonio Llorente; Dario Quesada; Iturriaga Lopez; Jose Manuel Beiran; Jose Luis Diaz; Jose Luis Llorente; Jose Miguel Antunez; and Lucio Angulo.

The celebrity basketball game will provide an opportunity for fans in the region to watch some exciting basketball. All the celebrity players are sports enthusiasts and most of them continue to play competitive basketball.

The DMCC is the title partner for the Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend. DMCC has a mandate from the government of Dubai to provide the physical, market and financial infrastructure to set up a commodities market place in Dubai. It is the licensing authority for JLT, one of the largest mixed-use, free-zone developments in Dubai. DMCC recently announced plans to build the world’s tallest commercial tower as part of an expansion plan to attract more multinationals.

“At DMCC we strongly believe that a healthier lifestyle means a better quality of life,” said Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of DMCC.

“The Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend presented by DMCC, will show our youth that fitness can be fun and interacting as one of the world’s greatest basketball legends will inspire them to aim high and stay healthy.”

During the weekend Kobe Bryant will also coach a basketball-skills clinic to give his legion of younger fans an opportunity to interact with and be inspired by the man who bin Sulayem referred to as “the greatest of all time”. Details of how to win a spot for the clinic will be announced later this month.

Nike, who is a global sponsor of Bryant’s, will be supporting the basketball superstar’s first appearance in the Middle East. 

The event is also supported by GEMS Education, the international K-12 education company which owns and operates high-performing schools across the globe, with a history of 50 years.

The Kobe Bryant Health & Fitness Weekend presented by DMCC is in association with the Dubai Diabetes Association, Boston Diabetes Centre, Imperial College of London Diabetes Centre’s public awareness campaign, Expo 2020, General Authority of Youth and Sport Welfare, Sport is a Lifestyle campaign, Dubai Calendar and Dubai Sports Council. 

moni@khaleejtimes.com

 
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