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Hawks, Bucks vow dazzling show

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AFP) — Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young promised to dazzle Gulf fans as the National Basketball Association debuts in the oil-rich region with two pre-season games in Abu Dhabi this week.

The Hawks will take on the Milwaukee Bucks in the United Arab Emirates capital on Thursday and Saturday, the latest top-level sport to appear in the Gulf.

Qatar will host football’s World Cup from November and four Formula One races will take place in the region next year, as well as golf, tennis and other sports.

“I’m definitely going to come out here and try to put on a show for the fans,” Young told reporters on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be competitive, but at the same time, we know what the long run is and we are just trying to build and try and get better.”

The games are part of the league’s first overseas foray in two years, after a pause for the pandemic. Although all the staff are vaccinated, a small minority of NBA players — three percent — are not.

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