Spurs’ Buford using basketball to make changes in the Middle East


RBDuring this offseason, many San Antonio Spurs players, past and present, have been giving their time to give back to the community both in San Antonio, and other parts of the world.

Despite the lockout, the players are actively doing what they can to help in numerous charity programs and basketball summer camps.

Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford has taken these helping acts to a new level as he was recently in Jerusalem to help bridge the gap between Israel and Palestine in the Middle East by turning his attention to focus on educating the youth through basketball. 

Daniel Doubilet wrote about the experience in which Buford, Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti, ESPN’s Chad Ford, and a college Professor all did what they could to help in the movement.

Yet despite these disappointing truths, somehow I found myself playing 5 on 5 on a sunny late July afternoon in Jerusalem. My teammates – Sam Presti, General Manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder, RC Buford, General Manager of the San Antonio Spurs, Chad Ford, ESPN NBA Analyst (and Professor at Brigham-Young University, Hawaii) and Limor Mizrahi, whose reign in Israeli professional women’s basketball can be described as no less than legendary.

The invariable answer is an extraordinary organization that is breaking boundaries across Israel and Palestine to bridge social divides between, and build leadership skills for, Israeli and Palestinian children and teens – PeacePlayers International – Middle East (PPI-ME)

Spectators were on their feet as the players performed in dazzling fashion, coached by Presti, on one end, and Buford on the other, who despite managing different NBA teams, have a long-time friendship, since working together in San Antonio before Presti moved to Seattle to lead the Supersonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder).

It’s great to see Buford and former Spur executive Presti, along with many others, doing what they can to help make the world a better place through the simple game of basketball.

(Photo: PeacePlayersInternational.org)