Straight from a ground in Bamako, Mali (West Africa), Salif is a young baller like all the others in the capital of Mali. Without any income to buy necessary shoes to play, he keeps on playing with what he paid for with equivalent of two months fees from his school. As a student, he is obliged to gather his scholarship money to buy a new ones. In his age group, parents refuse to give money for basketball gear which here costs a fortune. Mali is among the poorest countries in the world, which means a great problem for people to do what they want financially and obliges young men to hustle to help their families.
Through the love of the game, Bobbito Garcia a.k.a Kool Bob Love from BOUNCE recently sent me sneakers, t-shirts, and shorts for those kids in Mali, West Africa. As a former championship pro player here in Bamako, I aim now at making my way to help this game and all the poor young b-ballers. When I received the five boxes Bobbito sent, I refused to give them to the players right away. I first contacted the community which support those teams, including the central Mayor Mr. Souleymane Dagnon, who accepted to come and welcome the materials to the kids. In the presence of almost hundreds of young boys and girls, I passed on the message Bobbito asked me to tell them:
”I have mailed some sneakers and apparel from my closet to Kondo so that you can see, feel, and hopefully wear part of the equipment that is so vital to being a ballplayer in New York. Use them to practice the game we all love, and hopefully one day they will have helped you to improve your experience on the court. Share these gifts, pass them on, and do the same for others later in your life if and when you are able. Life, Love, and Basketball.”
After I presented Bobbito’s words, I gave Mayor Dagnon some shoes in the name of Kool Bob Love. He said some kind words of gratitude, and invited Bobbito Garcia to come to Mali and spend some time in his new home–Bamako!
This helpful action has been very appreciated by all the players, despite the distance between the two worlds. It was a real event by receiving these materials, and all the guys right the ground say, ”THANK YOU BOBBITO GARCIA FOR THE PRESENT!”