Campus: San Bernardino -- February 23, 2006

NBA All-Star and CSUSB Team Up For Youth Culture and Sports Program

Former Los Angeles Laker and NBA All-Star Vlade Divac teamed up with California State University, San Bernardino Feb. 6-10 for a successful combination English language and basketball program for visiting students from Anshan, China.

The high school-aged participants took part in morning American Culture and Language (ACLP) classes offered by Cal State San Bernardino's College of Extended Learning's International Extension Programs and a basketball clinic hosted by the Vlade Divac Group Seven Children's Foundation each afternoon.

On Thursday, Feb. 9, a luncheon was held at the Obershaw Commons to honor Divac and the Chinese students and their accompanying delegation. More than 80 people attended, including CSUSB administrators, faculty and staff and local dignitaries. Later that afternoon, Divac, along with the program's coaches, worked on basketball drills with the youngsters at the university's Coussoulis Arena.

The program is the first offering in what is planned as an ongoing series of programs between Divac and Cal State San Bernardino. In the planning stage is a two-week ACLP and basketball day camp to be offered for international participants from July 10-21 at CSUSB. Youth from the Inland Empire between the ages of 8 and 17 will be able to participate in the basketball camp July 17-21 and play along with peers from around the world.

The partnership between Divac and CSUSB provides a unique opportunity for international participants to benefit from the IEP's English language classes as well as interact with American youth through the basketball program. The innovative program builds on basketball camps offered by the Group Seven Children's Foundation over the past six years in Sacramento and Los Angeles. Plans are also being developed to offer language and basketball camps in China.

The program not only provides a quality educational experience for the visiting international students, but also represents one more way in which Cal State San Bernardino continues its commitment to community partnerships and diversity on campus. The community interaction is a key part of the campus's strategic plan initiated by CSUSB President Albert Karnig.

A leader on and off the court, Divac is committed to initiatives benefiting children in the United States and his native Serbia-Montenegro. His philanthropic work has earned Divac widespread recognition, including the NBA's Citizenship Award, Sporting News "Good Guys" Award and the "Good Samaritan" Award from International Orthodox Christian Charities and a Medal of Merit from the Serbian Unity Congress.

Each year, Divac donates time for teaching basketball skills to children through summer camp programs. The proceeds of the camps benefit children in the local community as well as Divac's Group Seven Foundation which provides assistance to children internationally. The Group Seven Foundation has provided more than $2 million in humanitarian assistance and educational programs to children in Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the United States, Indonesia and Ethiopia.

A 16-year veteran of the NBA who retired last year, Divac now serves as an international scout for the Los Angeles Lakers after finishing his career as one of only three players in NBA history to amass more than 13,000 points (13,364), 9,000 rebounds (9,294), 3,000 assists (3,522) and 1,500 blocked shots (1,630). In addition to the Lakers, he also played for the Charlotte Hornets and the Sacramento Kings./p>

For more information on participating in the summer program and an application, visit www.groupseven.org or www.cel.csusb.edu. For more information on Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university's public affairs office at (909) 537-5007 and visit http://news.csusb.edu.


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