When a superstar comes visiting

PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

In basketball-crazy Philippines, an MVP is a real VIP.

So when four-time National Basketball Association "Most Valuable Player" LeBron James visited a government mass housing project in Taguig city, 16km south-east of the capital Manila, yesterday, he was given a rousing welcome by residents of all ages.

During his brief stay, which lasted about 30 minutes, a basketball court that bore a huge image of him in the middle was opened.

James, who plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, then made handprints on a cement cast, and watched children play on the court.

He then went to a Nike store at the upscale Bonifacio Global City commercial district to attend a shoe launch.

As part of the NBA superstar's visit to the Philippines, he will conduct a basketball clinic for underprivileged Filipino youth, and pick out talented basketball players from disadvantaged families.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2015, with the headline 'When a superstar comes visiting'. Print Edition | Subscribe