NBA Players Victor Oladipo and Festus Ezeli Headline First Virtual ‘Power Forward Huddle’

ExxonMobil Foundation, the National Basketball Association (NBA) ( and Africare, a leading non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to addressing African development and policy issues, announced today that two-time NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo and 2015 NBA Champion Festus Ezeli will headline the first virtual ‘Power Forward Huddle’ on Thursday, Nov. 19. 

The event, which will be conducted virtually for the first time and livestreamed on the NBA Africa YouTube ( channel at 4:00 p.m. CAT, will celebrate seven years of the Power Forward program for youth ages 14-and-under and coaches from 30 schools in Abuja, Nigeria.  

As part of the Power Forward program, ExxonMobil Foundation, the NBA and Africare donated 30,000 masks, 90 new handwashing stations and hand sanitizer to 30 Power Forward schools in Abuja. The handwashing stations will reach 35,000 school community users.

“Using the convening power of sports, our successful collaboration with the NBA and Africare allows young people to play the games they love while receiving the life-skills and public health messages they need to stay healthy,” said ExxonMobil Foundation President, Kevin Murphy. “Every year, young people graduate these programs with knowledge on how to protect themselves from infectious diseases like malaria and COVID-19.”  

We are thrilled to celebrate the seventh year of the Power Forward program in Abuja alongside our partners ExxonMobil and Africare,” said NBA Africa CEO, Victor Williams. “Power Forward has become an annual celebration for the participating schools in Abuja, and we are grateful to be joined this year by Victor Oladipo and Festus Ezeli, who will make this year’s virtual event even more memorable for participating youth and coaches.”

“Nigeria, like other sub-Saharan African countries, is experiencing a youth bulge,” said Africare President and CEO, Robert Mallett. “The Power Forward project has shown year after year that this model of youth leadership is successful and replicable. It is impactful. It has three elements that make for success: strong partners in ExxonMobil and the NBA, focused objectives and enthusiastic participants.”

Power Forward, a youth development initiative launched in 2013 by the ExxonMobil Foundation, the NBA and Africare, uses basketball to teach health literacy, including malaria prevention and personal hygiene, and life skills, such as leadership, respect and responsibility, to students in 30 secondary schools in Abuja. 

To date, Power Forward has reached more than 80,000 youth in schools and communities in need, and nearly 30,000 people have attended past Power Forward community events. 

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