After NFL’s Tom Brady visit, Qatar welcomed NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Klay Thompson, Tracy McGrady, and Luke Walton to explore the country’s booming art, sports, and education scenes.
The US National Basketball players received a five-day invitation by Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup organizing entity, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), to learn about Qatar’s preparations for the global sport event, in addition to visiting cultural landmarks and educational institutions in the country. Hassan Al-Thawadi, the SC’s Secretary-General said on Saturday, “We’ve always wanted the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to be about bringing people and cultures together. Today, the NBA players have seen first-hand what thousands of sports fans will see when they come in 2022, that Qatar has so much to offer.”
As part of their trip, the four players toured the renowned Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and met with Qatari and regional sports stars and influencers. “This is my first time in Doha and will definitely not be my last,” said Carmelo Anthony. “From incredible sites such as the Museum of Islamic Art to deep conversations with regional sports stars, I have enjoyed learning about this country and its story. I look forward to coming back here with my family,” he added.
The stars also held a masterclass for students from the six US universities based in Qatar Foundation (QF), such as Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon, Texas A&M, and Georgetown. They also visited 2022 World Cup sites and Qatar’s Sports Academy, Aspire. “The combination sports and education here at Aspire is something special. They are not only making great athletes, but the educational component will also shape them to become great leaders and smart guys and so they will have something to fall back to just in case,” said Tracy McGrady. He added, “I think in order to have an understanding what Qatar is all about people have to come here, because they are really doing amazing things here. The people are gracious and friendly and I will definitely tell people back home that this is a place worth visiting.”
(Image Source: twitter – @carmeloanthony)