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SOWETO, SOWETO - JUNE 27: Basketball player Kobe Bryant visits a football centre during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa on June 27, 2010 in Soweto, South Africa. (Photo by Dominic Barnardt/Getty Images for Nike)
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is on his first trip to Africa, taking in some World Cup games and visiting with scores of young soccer players at a new training center in the black township of Soweto.
Bryant grew up playing soccer -- as well as basketball -- as a boy in Italy, and has been following the World Cup in South Africa. He saw the United States lose to Ghana on Saturday, but praised the Americans for giving a huge boost to soccer's popularity back home. Now he wants to see Brazil play -- he likes the way they weave their individual talents into deft teamwork.