Kobe Bryant to hold UAE basketball clinics in Sept

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US basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, the NBA’s highest paid player, has confirmed he will host two basketball camps in the UAE this September.

“I’m looking forward to going to Abu Dhabi and Dubai this September for the ‘Kobe Ultimate Fantasy Weekend’ presented by Maven Marketing & Events, in support of diabetes awareness,” the Los Angeles Lakers star posted on his Facebook page.

Bryant earned a total of $27,849,149 last year, making him the highest paid player in the NBA, according to the ESPN news network. An increase of $2.6m in a single year, even though he suffered a season ending injury and his once elite franchise failed to make it to the semi finals during the NBA playoffs.

However, Kobe is still considered as one of NBA’s premiere stars and his visit to the UAE will be the biggest basketball event ever held in the Middle East. His first day here will be spent in Abu Dhabi where he will be showcasing the ball handling and shooting techniques to a lucky group of individuals.

The events will take place on September 26 and 27 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and participants will have the chance to meet Bryant and learn from him first hand in his effort to raise awareness on the importance of health and fitness.

On September 27, the 34-year-old sporting legend will be coaching a celebrity basketball game in the American University of Dubai. Tickets for the game will be available for sale after Ramadan and participants will include DJs Kris Fade and DJ Bliss.

The celebrity game will see a mix of international and local celebrities, as well as some influential UAE leaders. Athletes, musicians and Bollywood stars are expected to come to the UAE to take part.

After the game, Bryant will judge a slam dunk competition. Bollywood stars, regional and local celebrities and musicians are expected to participate, all in aid of the fight against diabetes.

Recent figures from the International Diabetes Federation suggest that 18.9 percent of the UAE population is living with diabetes.

Late last year, Bryant appeared in an ad for Turkish Airlines with footballer Lionel Messi. Within five days, the ad was watched 20 million times on YouTube and has so far been viewed 104 million times.

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