NBA star Dwight Howard gives tips to Dubai youngsters

NBA star Dwight Howard gives tips to Dubai youngsters
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Published August 22nd, 2015 - 17:32 GMT via

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Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard

NBA All-Star Dwight Howard is the latest sports star to fall in love with Dubai.

The 6ft 11in Houston Rockets centre was in the city for a basketball event at the new Dubai Stars Sportsplex, a 57,000 sq ft indoor sports facility near Mirdif City Centre.

And, after taking time out to visit the desert — hoisting his 120kg frame on to a particularly unlucky camel — Howard, 29, called Dubai ‘one of the best places I have ever been to’.

The 2008 Olympic gold medal-winner said: “I know one of the guys who started this facility and I wanted to come out and spend some time with the kids and hopefully inspire them to want to play basketball and want to be successful in life.

“I came here a couple of weeks ago on vacation and just fell in love with Dubai. It’s a place I’ve wanted to go since 2005, when I recall sitting in a plane looking at one of the magazines, and it had a picture of Dubai and I was like ‘man, wherever this is, I have to get there’.

“I didn’t have any opportunities to go until this summer. I came out and stayed at the Burj Al Arab and just fell in love with it.

“I was just excited and wanted to be back here. It’s an amazing place. I love it. I love travelling and meeting new people, seeing new things and being in different cultures. Growing up, I never got a chance to see what was out there. I just made a pledge to myself to see and touch every part of the world before I passed away. This has been one of the best places I have ever been to.”

While in the emirate, Howard posted to his Instagram account a picture of himself riding a camel and wearing traditional UAE dress — albeit an extra-large version.

“That was the second time I have ridden a camel,” said the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year. “It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed just being out in the desert and the sand dunes. They actually got me one of the outfits, the kandoura. I had to get one sized up because the one I had was super short. It’s just been a great experience.”

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