YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- The U.S. has appointed an ambassador to Myanmar and helped bring in American businessmen keen on doing business in the rapidly reforming Southeast Asian nation.
Now, Washington is sending professional basketball players and coaches in a bid to boost cultural ties.
The U.S. Embassy said Sunday that four "sports envoys" have arrived in the country as part of a U.S. State Department-sponsored program "to emphasize the importance of academics, cooperation, and respect for diversity."
The group will conduct several sports workshops with local youth before leaving Friday.
The group includes Charlotte Bobcats basketball team manager Richard Cho, a Myanmar native who migrated to the U.S.
Also traveling are Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Darvin Ham, former Women's National Basketball Association player Allison Feaster and former NBA player Marty Conlon.