To mark the announcement, the 37-year-old veteran NBA player joined 300 youngsters at the historic Club Gimnasia y Esgrima Villa del Parque, in downtown Buenos Aires. The students learnt from the best with a 3×3 basketball skills clinic, followed by a “Chat with Champion” session and live painting by students using basketball and the Olympic values as inspiration.
Luis said: ““I am honored to be an Ambassador for the Youth Olympics, especially in my home town! Being here and seeing the excitement from all the kids is just a taste of what is to come. Buenos Aires 2018 are constantly forward thinking to make sure this is an event that appeals to young people and I can’t wait to be a part of it. It will really be a special atmosphere here next October.”
Luis was chosen by the IOC for his international sporting achievements and willingness to support the next generation through the YOG in his home nation. With 10 NBA seasons under his belt, Luis also won an Olympic gold in Athens in 2004, bronze at Beijing 2008 and was the Argentinian flagbearer at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. He is renowned for being one of “The Golden Generation” of Argentinian basketball players who, over a 12-year period, through their achievements at major tournaments, have changed the face of basketball nationwide – in its professionalism, style of play and team spirit.
Off the field of play, Luis is an active member of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission, representing the views and interests of current and future Olympians, and has already been seen around Buenos Aires with the Organising Committee supporting community events that have reached close to 400,000 people with sport and cultural activities ahead of the Games.
Luis announced earlier this month that his will leave the Brooklyn Nets to continue his career in China with the Shanxi Brave Dragons. He joins fellow Argentinian, hockey Olympic medallist Luciana Aymar as an Ambassador for the Games, which will take place from 6 to 18 October next year.
The IOC chooses Olympians to be Ambassadors for each edition of the YOG to help reach and inspire young people to get active. Sporting legends such as Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Yelena Isinbaeva, Michelle Wie, Yao Ming and Chad le Clos have supported previous summer YOGs. The promotional campaigns are shared with the 60 million fans the IOC has on its social media channels.
For more information on the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, go to www.buenosaires2018.com.