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Bolt to play in NBA celebrity match

l HOUSTON

Sprint sensation Usain Bolt says he is looking forward to making his debut in the NBA All-Star Celebrity match in Houston, today.

Bolt will join a list of celebrities for the NBA event, a much-anticipated part of the all-star weekend of activities.

The Jamaican sprinter will be lining up alongside the likes of comedian Kevin Hart, singer Ne-Yo, rapper Common, actor Nick Cannon and former NBA great Dikembe Mutombo.

"It's something big and something fun for me," declared Bolt, who gave up early basketball ambitions for football, cricket and his pet sport track and field. "So I'm just looking forward to going out there and having fun and try to dunk a few times."

Bolt, the only man to win back-to-back Olympic sprint doubles after successes at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, is an NBA fan and supports the Boston Celtics, whom he spent some time with in 2008.

The All-Star Celebrity teams will be coached by James Harden of the Houston Rockets and his former teammate Russell Westbrook, who plays for the 2012 Western Conference champions and NBA finalists, Oklahoma City Thunder.

"I'm not a good shooter but hey, I used to be a good player," said Bolt, who last week completed his first competitive race of the season--a 400 metres at the Camperdown Classic at the National Stadium.

 "I can't say I'm any good right now, because I've stopped playing basketball and started playing football, so I'm really rusty, but I'm sure I can dunk."

Bolt is set to become the biggest track and field star to play basketball in prime time. American track and field star Carl Lewis was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984, but never stepped foot on the court, as he was never signed by the team.

"I can't go there thinking about that," said Bolt in response to questions about the possibility of being injured.

"It's just fun, so it won't be anything aggressive. It's just guys who are just playing for fun, so it should be easy and fun." —CMC

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