As part of their visit to Qatar, US National Basketball Association (NBA) stars Carmelo Anthony, Klay Thompson, Tracy McGrady and Luke Walton have visited the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) for a tour of its exhibitions.
The four players were given a tour that highlighted the world-class collections housed at the museum, which include metalwork, ceramics, jewellery, woodwork, textiles, coins and glass. As part of the tour, the players were given a brief introduction to Islamic art, covering its history across three continents since 7th century.
Prior to the tour, the players had lunch at Idam, the award-winning, Michelin-starred restaurant created by chef Alain Ducasse. There, the players met with Qatari influencers and regional sports icons, including Mohamed Saadoun, Mutaz Barshim and Mohamed Abutrika.
Khalid al-Ibrahim, chief strategic planning officer at Qatar Museums, said: “The Museum of Islamic Art is the flagship of Qatar Museums and tells the fascinating story of the Islamic world, with all its richness and beauty. It comes as no surprise that it has become a must-see stop for all international visitors. We were pleased to welcome our guests at the museum and look forward to hosting them again in the future.”
The NBA stars are currently visiting Qatar at the invitation of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. Its secretary-general, Hassan al-Thawadi, said on Saturday: “We’ve always wanted the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to be about bringing people and cultures together. Today, the NBA players have seen first-hand what thousands of sports fans will see when they come in 2022, that Qatar has so much to offer; from state-of-the-art stadia to rich culture and amazing museums like the MIA.”
Anthony is the US Olympic men’s national basketball team’s all-time leading scorer and a leader in rebounds and games played. Thompson is a four-time NBA All-Star, a two-time All-NBA Third Team honoree and a three-time NBA champion. Before retiring in 2013, McGrady was a seven-time NBA All-Star, seven-time All-NBA selection, two-time NBA scoring champion and one-time winner of the NBA Most Improved Player Award. Currently serving as the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, Walton had previously played 10 seasons in the NBA as a forward and won two NBA championships with the Lakers.
“We had a tour of the beautiful Museum of Islamic Art, which was amazing. It was great to be shown the richness of the art in the museum. I hope to return on my next visit to Qatar and spend more time viewing its incredible collection,” said McGrady.
“This is my first time in Doha and will definitely not be my last,” said Anthony. “From incredible sites such as the Museum of Islamic Art to deep conversations with regional sports stars, I have enjoyed learning about this country and its story. I look forward to coming back here with my family.”
The celebrity tour comes after American football Super Bowl champion Tom Brady’s recent visit to Qatar, where he and wife Giselle Bundchen explored the landmark museum.
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