Playing Basketball with the USA U17
July 2, 2012
July 2nd was a day to remember for the USA basketball team under 17 and young Lithuanian children. On their day off during the 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship, in Kaunas, Lithuania, the USA team was invited by the staffers of the U.S. Embassy to spend a few hours with about 30 kids from two orphanages in Kaunas. The team created the world of magic on the outdoors basketball court at Kaunas Municipal Orphanage as the kids aged 4-15 scored buckets sporting radiant smiles.
In the beginning, the children watched the USA players in awe but as soon as the Americans introduced themselves, the kids readily joined the guests on the cement court and displayed surprising dexterity. The US team’s head coach, Don Showalter, led the older children and most of the team in drills, while the youngest participants were shooting hoops with the USA assistant coach Mike Jones and two U.S. players. After the event, the social workers, U.S. Embassy staffers, and media representatives from Lithuania and the American team all commented on the joy of playing together and the passion shared by both sides for basketball.