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Irina Pavlova featured in philanthropy series

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Irina Pavlova

Peace Players International is a charity that uses sport to bring together children from different ethnic and religious groups in areas of conflict. Mikhail Prokhorov is one of its largest funders and last summer, both Doug Overton and Brook Lopez participated, Overton in Cyprus, Lopez in Northern Ireland.

Irina Pavlova sits on the group's board of directors (along with Chad Ford, Steve Kerr, Spurs GM R.C. Buford and Arn Tellem, the agent). In an interview for Huffington Post's She-lantrophy series, the president of ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment describes why she thinks PPI is worthy of her time and a lot of people's resources ... "the ability to see how a $20 basketball can make a difference to a child."

It's not always easy in the areas of conflict where PPI is most active.

"Although 54 percent of our participants are girls, in some countries like Israel where I recently visited, it can be a challenge to get Muslim girls to join because of some of the cultural barriers. For example how do we make a case that girls should be out there running around with a basketball to those who believe in a more conservative or traditional role for girls? You need to be sensitive wherever you are, but also explain what you are trying to accomplish..."

In April, she and Lopez hosted a fund-raiser in New York that raised more the $75,000. (Editor's Note: we were among the contributors.)