U.S. Basketball Players in Ukraine for Spiritual Diplomacy Mission

May 20, 2013, 15:28 ET from US-Ukraine Observer

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the US-Ukraine Observer:

American professional basketball players David Wood, James Bartolotta, Paul Grant, Anthony Bonner and William Alexsen recently brought together for a visit to Ukraine to spread spiritual diplomacy – the concept of ending conflicts within and among nations by relying on spiritual values.  Several years ago  Mikhail Gorbachev called Spiritual Diplomacy: "The New Road to Peace." The delegation of NBA and former NCAA basketball players – brought together for this trip by Baltimore-based SportsPower International – traveled throughout Ukraine for a week and visited the town of Chernobyl, where a nuclear disaster in 1986 killed thousands of people and spread radioactive fallout throughout almost all of Europe.

Mikhail Morgulis with the Florida-based Spiritual Diplomacy Foundation, stated "We visited orphanages for children with mental disabilities. In Ukraine, according to unofficial data, there are about 350,000 homeless children, but official data significantly understate that number. Of course, these get-togethers with the giants of basketball were a real treat for local children. Members of the delegation brought with them gifts, computers, and games. The festive atmosphere was complemented by some famous Ukrainian singers. NBA veterans held a master class for the Ukrainian basketball school. More than 200 young Ukrainian athletes were able to sharpen their skills with help from leading American basketball players. The event ended with a friendly basketball match between the pupils of the sports school and the American professionals."

"In addition, the basketball players visited the majestic Cathedral of St. Sophia, saw some of Kiev's magnificent architectural wonders, and admired the blue belt of Dnepr River from the height of the Vladimir Hill. No wonder Kiev is known as one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Europe," added Morgulis. "At the end of the trip a meeting was held with President Viktor Yanukovych and members of the Ukrainian government. The head of Ukraine thanked the players for the love that they showed to his country and for all the loving care and help that the Spiritual Diplomacy Foundation provides to children. According to him, Ukraine has always been respectful of America, its people and officials. Historically the two nations were once allies in the fight against Nazism."

More details and photos on the delegation's visit to Ukraine are available from the US-Ukraine Observer at: http://usukraineobserver.com/issue19148.html

Contact: US-Ukraine Observer, Frank Abernathy, 615-290-5662, usukraineobserver@gmail.com

SOURCE US-Ukraine Observer