Najera to host exhibitions in Mexico

Paul Pierce(notes), Kevin Love(notes) and Jason Kidd(notes) headline a group of NBA players who have committed to play two exhibition games in Mexico next month.

The games will be hosted by Mexico native and Charlotte Bobcats forward Eduardo Najera(notes). Organizers of the event said Tyson Chandler(notes), Trevor Ariza(notes), Marcus Camby(notes), DeAndre Jordan(notes), Corey Maggette(notes), Jerryd Bayless(notes) and Ryan Hollins(notes) are among the other players who will participate in the games. Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash(notes) has also been invited to play.

The two exhibition games will be played in Culiacán on Oct. 6 and Mazatlan on Oct. 8. Najera, Love, Chandler, Kidd and possibly Pierce will also visit Mexico City on Oct. 4 to meet Mexico President Felipe Calderon and businessman Carlos Slim Helu, who is considered the richest man in the world.

With Mexico battling a violent drug war, organizers of the games hope the event will bring positive attention to the country. Najera, a native of Chihuahua, has hosted and played in several exhibition games in Mexico in recent years. Players also will participate in youth clinics before the games.

“It’s always a fun and influential trip,” said Rasheen Smith, co-organizer of the games. “The people of Mexico don’t get to see basketball on this level too often. There will be about 10,000 passionate fans at each exhibition with horns and drums.

"President Calderon wants to show that Mexico is a great place that can safely put on events like this."

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