Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday hosted Pau Gasol, co-captain of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, along with a delegation of young Jewish and Arab basketball players at the president’s residence in Jerusalem.
Pau Gasol, in his first visit to Israel, is leading a basketball workshop for Jewish and Arab children to promote peace and coexistence.
Peres told Gasol, “You are a role model to Israeli children – your work inspires hope.”
“Sport is the key to coexistence and peace,” he said. “I want to express my personal thanks.”
Pau Gasol, who said that he had come to Israel to meet its people and was pleased to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the youth, told Peres: “Sport is the best way to progress peace and it doesn’t matter which religion you are, with sport, everyone speaks the same language.”
At the end of the meeting Gasol presented Peres with a Spanish national team basketball jersey and offered his congratulations to Maccabi Tel Aviv for their EuroLeague victory.