As we strive to achieve our mission, each month Sporting Generosity will identify an individual that has meant more to the sports world than his or her achievements on the court or field. This individual will have given back to the community by providing hope to a sick child, financial assistance to an underprivileged youth, or by becoming an advocate for a specific cause. These athletes are people who give back not out of obligation, but out of conviction in its necessity. With that said, please congratulate the November 2010 SG Player of the Month.
Boris Diaw (November, 2010)
Boris Babacar Diaw-Riffiod, better known as Boris Diaw, was born on April 16, 1982 in Cormeilles, France. Boris began his career with the Atlanta Hawks in 2003, however a trade to the Phoenix Suns is what supplanted him as an up and coming star in the NBA. At the conclusion of the 2006 NBA season, Boris was named the Most Improved Player in the National Basketball Association after averaging 13 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and a block on 53% shooting from the floor. He was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats in December 2008 and helped lead them to the franchise’s first ever playoff birth in the 2009-2010 basketball season.
In 2005, Boris, his family and close friends created the Babac’Ards foundation. The name of the association is a play on words between Boris’ second name of Senegalese origin (Babacar) and a meaningful set of initials representing the Association for Realization in Development and Solidarity. The foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of children in Senegal by facilitating educational development and recreational programming. “Combining sport and studies is the way to success for Senegalese future athletes,” said Julie Lingy, president of the foundation.
To achieve its mission, Boris and the Babac’Ards Foundation launched a series of camps known as the Diawthentik (pronounced D-Authentique) camps. The camps include both physical and mental enrichment activities relating to basketball and life skills. Commencing in 2006 and continuing today, the foundation has financed and administered approximately 15 camps which have benefited nearly 1,500 Senegalese children, as well as the coaches and instructors who will help these children implement their skills.
In addition to camp programming Babac’Ards has provided funding for a local orphanage, and scholar books to Senegalese schools. Medical supplies, toys, DVDs, books, and more have also been provided to the Le Dantec hospital in Dakar to distribute to children suffering from cancer.
In South America, Babac’Ards has entered into a partnership with the President of the Peruvian Basketball Federation to provide funding and assistance for the implementation of eight basketball academies for “at-risk” children.
Finally, Boris and Babac’Ards is currently in the process of setting up a training center for young women in the Thies region of Senegal.
Although funded by Babac’Ards, the training center is a collaboration between local Senegalese institutions and the foundation. Said Diaw, “I just want to give back to basketball what basketball has given to me.”
With an emphasis on basketball, the training facility will create social, educational, and athletic programming for young women between the ages of 13-18. The objective of the facility is to open doors to young women not only in sports related fields but to improve their education and standing within society.
For more information on the great work done by Boris and his foundation, please click here.