Youngsters shoot hoops to bridge Cyprus’ divide

It’s an island ripped apart by politicial, ideological and physical divisions. But youngsters here – both Greek and Turkish Cypriots – are coming together through basketball. Alexa Dvorson reports.

Symbolbild Zypern Krise Teilung

It almost sounds like a battle, but the only shots being fired in this indoor basketball court are by kids eager to improve their game.

Part of the thrill of this gathering, known as PeacePlayers International, is the coaching by visiting basketball professionals. This year it was Aaron James, who used to play for New Orleans, and Şebnem Kimyacıoglu, who’s played for the Turkish team Galatasaray.

“It was (the most) amazing thing… I have ever had in my whole life! I’m so excited,” said 13-year-old Tahir, a Turkish Cypriot, who took part in PeacePlayers for the first time this year.

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