About the Author: Tara Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
They came off the bus in front of the Verizon Center in their white SportsUnited T-shirts. They were 12 Burmese basketball players — six girls, six boys and two coaches — participating in a sports exchange program that started last summer in Rangoon. Their excitement grew as they sat courtside to watch a real professional basketball game — and see the pro’s warming up beforehand. It grew even more when Washington Wizards Bradley Beal and Kevin Seraphin came over to greet them and pose for photographs.
Then they experienced the unique American pastime of a classic NBA basketball game — complete with cheerleaders, acrobats, chants, crowd applause, and… more »