Turkish NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom holds interfaith basketball clinic in Jerusalem
(JTA) – NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom, a Turkish Muslim known for his off-court activism, is in Israel to host an interfaith basketball clinic.
The 11-year veteran is leading the Enes Kanter Freedom Unity Basketball Camp at the Jerusalem YMCA from July 26 to August 5. The clinic is open to 40 Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Druze children between the ages of 10 and 15. It is a partnership between the non-profit organizations Bnai Zion, Athletes for Israel and Together Vouch for Each Other US.
Tamir Goodman, former Division I college basketball star – once known as “Jewish Jordan” – will also be in attendance.
“I believe we can use sport to promote tolerance, respect and coexistence,” Kanter Freedom told The Jerusalem Post. “By bringing kids together on a basketball court, I know we can show them the importance of respecting people of all faiths while building camaraderie and developing relationships.”
The Auburn University men’s basketball team, which is in Israel for 10 days Trip “Birthright for College Basketball”will also attend the clinic.
Kanter Freedom has played for five teams during his NBA career and is currently a free agent. The 6ft 10in center has been active as a human rights defender, particularly in China and his home country of Turkey.
“I will educate our children so that they can have empathy, so that they can have sympathy, so that they can put themselves in other people’s shoes so that they can understand them better,” said Kanter Freedom at New York Jewish Week last month. “If you understand other religions or cultures, if you get to know them better, the more you will respect and love them.”
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