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Thursday, April 25, 2024

UN approves PH-led World Basketball Day resolution

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THE United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted on Friday the Philippine-initiated resolution on World Basketball Day to be celebrated every December 21.

The Philippines, along with Indonesia, Nicaragua and Peru led the filing of the resolution which was co-sponsored by 77 countries.

With the UN decision, basketball became the first team sport to be recognized by the UN General Assembly with its own international day.

Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations Antonio M. Lagdameo emphasized the importance of basketball in the country, saying that the sport symbolizes unity “while fostering connections among people from diverse origins, and promoting global peace.”

In his introductory speech before the UN General Assembly, Lagdameo also said “as a globally recognized sport, basketball transcends borders, cultures, and languages. It serves as a unifying force where people from different backgrounds can come together, bond and communicate with each other, creating connections and breaking down barriers, and thereby contributing to peace.”

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Lagdameo further said the adoption of the resolution “is very timely, as the 2023 Fiba World Cup of Basketball has just started today, 25 August, in three major cities in Asia – Manila, Jakarta, and Tokyo.”

“It is an honor for my own country, the Philippines, to host this global competition because basketball is in our national DNA. We have more basketball courts per capita than anywhere in the world,” Lagdameo said.

Lagdameo noted that the Philippines has “more basketball courts per capita than anywhere in the world.

The Philippines established Asia’s first and oldest professional basketball league in 1975, the Philippine Basketball Association, which remains active and competitive to this day, according to Lagdameo.

Basketball is one of the most popular team sport worldwide, and the first basketball game was played on December 21, 1891 at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA, according to FIBA.

In a statement before FIBA officials, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. stressed that the FIBA World Cup is “going to have a very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, loud, passionate crowd for every single day.”

The ambassador further emphasized on the sport’s impact as a ground for global grassroots enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

“Basketball plays a role in promoting health, mental well-being, and community engagement, as it contributes to global health goals. It is a powerful tool for promoting the values of discipline, respect for rules, team spirit, inclusivity, as well as women empowerment,” he added.

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