29 May 2001


Austrian Airlines to Co-sponsor Multi-Ethnic Project

VIENNA, 29 May (UN Information Service) – Vlade Divac of the Sacramento Kings, a United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) Goodwill Ambassador, will lead nine National Basketball Association (NBA) players, including Toni Kukoc of the Atlanta Hawks, a three-time European player of the year and a native of Croatia, at a basketball camp in Treviso, Italy, from 29 June to 2 July. The event – "Basketball without Borders" ("Košarka bez granica") – will benefit 50 players ages 12 to 14 years.

Divac is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He led the Yugoslav team to silver medals at the 1988 Seoul and 1996 Atlanta Olympic games. A skilled shooter, passer, rebounder and shotblocker, Divac was named to his first NBA All-Star team this season. He is a native of Prijepolje, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Divac said the camp provides an opportunity to send a positive message to the kids. "We should respect each other and work together, play together and laugh together," he added.

Austrian Airlines announced that it will join the Vienna-based UNDCP as a co-sponsor of a camp for young basketball players from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Slovenia. The Airline will fly the young players from Skopje, Sarajevo and Belgrade via Vienna to the camp.

"As an airline it is our aim to create connections between countries, cities and above all between people," said Ralph Preclik, Austrian Airlines Vice President of Corporate Communications. "By supporting ´Basketball without Borders´ we hope to contribute to a better understanding between young people of different nations."

"Vienna is a United Nations city and we welcome Austria’s largest airline as a co-sponsor of ‘Basketball Without Borders’," said UNDCP Executive Director Pino Arlacchi.

Participants will also attend seminars designed to promote leadership, conflict resolution and living a healthy life without drugs. The camp marks the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse (26 June). Benetton, which owns the Treviso basketball team, will host the players at the team’s basketball facilities north of Venice. The national basketball federations of each country will choose 10 participants in cooperation with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) based on their basketball skills and leadership abilities.

Other NBA players participating in the camp include: Zan Tabak (Croatia) and Bruno Sundov (Croatia) of the Indiana Pacers; Peja Stojakovic (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) of the Sacramento Kings; Alex Radojevic (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) of the Denver Nuggets; Rasho Nesterovic (Slovenia) of the Minnesota Timberwolves; Dalibor Bagaric (Croatia) and Dragan Tarlac (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) of the Chicago Bulls. Los Angeles Clippers assistant coach Igor Kokoskov (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), European basketball players Vrbica Stefanov (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Nenad Markovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) also will help conduct the camp.

For more information, please contact:

Zach Messitte, United Nations, messitte@un.org, (212) 963-2710
Helen Wong, NBA, hwong@nba.com, (212) 407-8299