In 2014, the Center for African Studies, in collaboration with NBA Africa, established the Royal Bafokeng Sports Summer Program. The program provides opportunities for Harvard undergraduate students to spend eight weeks during the summer working with Royal Bafokeng Sports (RBS) on its royal Bafokeng NBA Development Program, which involves 16 schools, 3000 players, and 40 local coaches and league coordinators. The program is based in the village of Phokeng in North West, South Africa. During the program, the students have the opportunity to live and work amongst the Royal Bafokeng Nation, a community with a unique African cultural identity and strong traditions.
As interns, students assist the Royal Bafokeng NBA Development in a number of ways, including operations support, tournaments and events organization, visiting regional schools, tutoring and mentoring Grade 11 and 12 players, and assisting with an impact study for the program. During the program, students form part of the RBS delegation that travels to Johannesburg in August to participate in Basketball Without Borders, a three-day camp that serves as an intensive skills workshop and recruitment event for top players from across Africa. The Harvard’s basketball team head coaches nominate the basketball-focused interns while other interns apply directly through the Center for African Studies.
Successful program candidates are awarded a grant that amply covers international travel expenses and expenses in situ. Room and board are provided.