Editor’s Note: This post by KTJ Scott originally appeared on darfurunited.com
In 2007, Gabriel received a phone call from John Prendergast about NBA Basketball Star Tracy McGrady (T-Mac) and their recent trip to Darfuri refugee camps. Tracy was deeply moved by his visit to camp Djabal and knew he had to do something for people he had met there. Gabriel flew to Florida, where Tracy was preparing for a game, and met with John, Tracy and Elissa, Tracy’s manager. They discussed ideas and planted the seed for what would become the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Project.
Tracy McGrady meeting with children in the camp. They are showing him drawings of how they remembered their homes being attacked. Photo: Darfur Dream Team
Camp Djabal is like most of the Darfuri refugee camps in that it is a harsh life with little to look forward to. But it is also a magical place with welcoming people and leaders committed to a future of peace. As I write this, and as our i-ACT team makes preparations in the capital, families in the camp with very little of their own are welcoming Darfur United (DU) hopefuls from all the Darfuri refugee camps that stretch across the Chad-Sudan border.
Tracy McGrady with young boy during his visit to Darfuri refugee camp in eastern Chad. Photo: Josh Rothstein
Tracy’s support did not stop with the Sister Schools Program. In 2012, when i-ACT was working to take Darfur United to their first ever international tournament in Iraqi Kurdistan, T-Mac stepped up and secured the team’s uniforms, cleats, track suits, and old school adidas kicks for their travel shoes. This year, he has done even more.
Just yesterday we received green jerseys, green shorts, and white shorts for game time. Track suits, shoes, and cleats are on their way!
2014 Darfur United Jersey (mock-up)
Thank you, Tracy McGrady, for your unwavering support of our athletes and of Darfur United. Tracy, along with adidas, believes in our mission and has supplied the team with equipment, uniforms, cleats and sweats.