Memphis Grizzlies players Marc Gasol and Jeff Green landed in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Thursday, and they're ready to make an impression.
"One of the great things about sports is how it brings people together for a common goal," said Gasol during a conference call.
Gasol and Green are on the world team of the first NBA game on African soil. They're joined by All-Stars Pau Gasol and Chris Paul, among others.
They will play against a team of either first or second-generation African players, including Heat star Luol Deng, and younger players like Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo; it's something they're looking forward to.
"I think it's great. Just being a part of this is history," said Green. "It was a no-brainer for me."
"I'm actually honored to be a part of this game," said Gasol.
The first All-Star starter in Grizzlies history, Gasol is a popular player in Europe, and looks to put on a show for a whole new set of fans.
"Hopefully they'll enjoy it, we'll try to do as best as we can for this point during the summer and hopefully put on a good show and everybody enjoys it," said Gasol.
After his trip, Gasol will look to bring a championship to his current fans, something he says would be more meaningful to him in Memphis than anywhere else.
"I believe we can achieve something even greater, " said Gasol. "I feel like that's going to mean so much more to me being in Memphis. I know chasing a ring is something that I really want and a dream of mine."
But across the ocean, his presence in Africa along with 18 more professional players, will be meaningful to the continent.
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