Jul 1, 2012

"Hoops Of Life" | Shaquille O'Neal in Trinidad

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The Government of Trinidad and Tobago surprised many when they introduced retired NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal to launch their new initiative to save the youth and bring back hope to depressed communities. The program is titled "Hoops of Life" and is one of the new initiatives by the PP government to bring about positive change in the lives of the youth of the country.

The following article in quotation was sourced from C Media Trinidad and Tobago:
"It was a 'slam dunk' for the Government on Saturday when basketball legend, Shaquille O'Neal, showed up with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at Beetham Gardens.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had a very special surprise for the residents of Phase Four Beetham Gardens in the form of the 7ft 1" American basketball star.

Dr. O'Neal was present to assist the Government in launching its new sporting initiative, The Hoop of Life, which is aimed at helping build communities and giving youths in troubled neighbourhoods a constructive alternative to criminal activity.

The acclaimed sportsman spoke to the young people present, telling them that he came from a similar neighbourhood but with hard work, he was able to leave behind a life of being a gangster.

"A positive attitude helped me get where I am now and anybody can do it because like I said, I am not the smartest, I may be a doctor, but I am not the smartest. It was my positive attitude. I did it. So little kids, listen to your parents, be a leader not a follower. Believe in God and everything will be alright. It's going to take time, like I started playing when I was 12 but I didn't get good until 20. So it took eight years of hard work."

The Prime Minister said a lot of planning and finances were put into this initiative which was developed by the Ministry of National Security to ensure that it will fully engage local youths.

The games begin on July 21st and players will have the opportunity to win prizes for their community.

The Prime Minister said, "Players are drawn from communities such as yours for recognition, valuable community projects and winning cash prizes of $1 million, $500,000 and $250,000 will form the first, second and third place prizes."

She also explained that community DJs and artistes will win prizes for their performances at the events."

 
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