By Royce Strahan
Defender Contributing Reporter
In conjunction with the American Diabetes Association and Sanofi US, the NBA, WNBA and NBA Developmental League recently kicked off its second Dribble to Stop Diabetes campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the disease by encouraging Americans to live healthy lifestyles while raising and teaching about diabetes prevention
A successful inaugural year for the Dribble to Stop Diabetes program was able to provide NBA/WNBA/D-League FIT clinics and other health and wellness activities to Americans to help fans receive more information on the disease which has been called the “silent killer” and become active in prevention and treatment.
Campaign ambassadors, New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson, NBA legend Bob Lanier, Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever and Carlos Boozer of the Chicago Bulls, will assist the program.
As a father and basketball player, Boozer understands the importance of taking care of your body to prevent the disease, but the program’s efforts have also hit close to home.
“The biggest thing was personal,” Boozer told the Defender. “My grandma passed from diabetes after a long fight and my aunt has diabetes and she does a great job of taking care of herself, so it hit home personally for me. I partnered up with the NBA a year ago and decided to be a part of this program to try to raise awareness about diabetes.”
More than 79 million Americans, or one in three adults, have prediabetes, which could lead to developing type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. A quarter of those who have the disease, or 7 million people, aren’t aware that they have it, possibly worsening the symptoms and placing them at a greater risk for health problems.
More than 3.7 million, or 14.7 percent of all African Americans aged 20 years or older, is estimated to have the disease, while one in four African-American women over the age of 55 years of age have it.
“It’s huge for communities everywhere, especially the African-American community,” Boozer said. “We got to raise awareness for it. We have great organizations that are partnering with us…so we’re trying to encourage not just basketball fans, but everybody to raise awareness because it touches all of us at some point, whether its our parents, cousins, friends, it could be our teachers. If somebody in our circle is affected by diabetes, we got to do a good job of helping them out.”
Those interested in raising awareness and checking their own status can visit DribbleToStopDiabetes.com.
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