NBA Enes Kanter Freedom to open basketball camp in Jerusalem

Enes Kanter Freedom's basketball camp will be open for kids of all religions and will teach tolerance and cooperation as well as basketball skills.

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter (11) reacts against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center (photo credit: MIKE DINOVO/USA TODAY SPORTS)
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter (11) reacts against the Chicago Bulls during the second half at the United Center
(photo credit: MIKE DINOVO/USA TODAY SPORTS)

NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom is opening a basketball camp for Muslims, Jews, Christian and Druze kids in Jerusalem, he announced on Thursday. 

The camp, which is opening in partnership with Bnai Zion and Athletes for Israel, will feature top coaches and NBA teams and will teach fundamental basketball skills.

“I believe that we can use sports to promote tolerance, respect, and coexistence," said Freedom. "By bringing children together on a basketball court, I know we can show them the importance of respecting people of all faiths while building camaraderie and developing relationships.

“I played in the NBA for 11 years as an observant Muslim, shoulder to shoulder with my Jewish and Christian brothers. We respected each other’s faith and I learned a lot from them and about them and their faith. I am looking forward to setting a positive example for the children of Jerusalem.”

Freedom has played on five NBA teams since entering the league 11 years ago. He is also a human rights activist.

 Enes Kanter (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Enes Kanter (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Beyond basketball

“This camp goes beyond the game of basketball," said Rabbi Ari Lamm, who is the chief executive of Bnai Zion. "It’s an opportunity for young people to see how powerful they can be when they strive together in common purpose.

"I can’t think of a better role model than Enes for giving these players a sense of just how much they can achieve with a big dream and an open heart.”

Rabbi Ari Lamm

“Basketball has successfully proven itself to unite players of all backgrounds," said Tamir Goodman, dubbed “The Jewish Jordan” by Sports Illustrated. "I’m excited this camp is giving us the opportunity to bring together kids, who otherwise wouldn’t have met, to play and form new friendships!”

Freedom will be joined by CEO of Together Vouch for Each Other US CEO Yoseph Haddad in Haifa to speak to players about growing up playing sports.