8 April 2003

Professional Basketball Player Nene Hilario Featured in Video Spot to Raise Awareness about HIV/AIDS Prevention

UN Office on Drugs and Crime PSA to Be Broadcast Worldwide Through NBA Programming

VIENNA, 8 April (UN Information Service) -- Denver Nuggets forward-center Nene Hilario, a native of Brazil, will be featured in a new public service announcement that debuts around the world in April to help raise awareness about HIV prevention and education, the United Nations Office on Drugs Crime (UNODC) announced today. Produced by the National Basketball Association (NBA) in conjunction with UNODC, the 30-second PSA will be broadcast around the world through NBA games and programming.

Hilario, who is currently averaging 9.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists a game in his rookie season with the Nuggets, was selected as the seventh overall pick in the first round by the New York Knicks at the 2002 NBA draft and later traded to the Nuggets. At the NBA All-Star Weekend, he was one of six international players in the 2003 Rookie Challenge.

The television spot features Hilario encouraging people to participate in the prevention of HIV and AIDS and to educate themselves and others about the disease. In versions in his native Portuguese and in Spanish, Hilario says, "In life -- as in basketball -- you need to make smart choices. Using condoms and not sharing needles are intelligent decisions that can help you live a longer, healthier life."

"We need more role models, like Nene Hilario and the other NBA players and athletes that have participated in UNODC's Sports against Drugs campaign, who love sports and want to communicate the dangers of abusing drugs to young people around the world," said Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime's Sports against Drugs campaign uses sports to provide youth a positive life choice and to promote a healthy lifestyle free from drugs. UNODC spreads its message through public awareness campaigns, partnerships with star athletes and local sports activities. (For more information on UNODC, visit www.unodc.org)

"This is an example of how the NBA's players, coaches and teams can work to make a difference and be a positive catalyst for change," said Mike Bantom, NBA Senior Vice President of Player and Basketball Development.

The NBA currently features 65 international players from 34 different countries on team rosters. NBA Entertainment programming is distributed globally to 212 countries in 42 different languages via 148 broadcasters, reaching more than 750 million households. (For more information on the NBA, visit www.nba.com)

For more information, please contact:

Tim Carlsgaard
Email: tim.carlsgaard@unodc.org
Tel.: (431) 26060-4150


Helen Wong
Email: hwong@nba.com
Tel.: (212) 407-8299