Kyle Korver of the 76ers got his off-season off to a productive start by joining first lady Laura Bush yesterday in Washington to help mark Malaria Awareness Day.

Korver, with former NBA players Buck Williams and Gheorghe Muresan, participated in a basketball-shooting contest with children from the Public Charter School in Washington.

The celebrities were at the school and then the White House to raise awareness for Nothing but Nets, a grassroots campaign to prevent malaria.

Malaria can be prevented by giving families and individuals insecticide-treated bed nets to sleep under that help kill mosquitoes where they breed.

The nets cost $10, and a family of four can sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net, safe from malaria, for up to four years.

"It was a great experience to meet the first lady, and we got to see the president give a speech in the Rose Garden," Korver said yesterday in a phone interview from Washington. "It's a very simple thing to help cure, and it's a matter of getting the word out about how important it is to supply these nets."

Korver first heard of the Nothing but Nets campaign when he was part of a trip last summer to Johannesburg, South Africa, with the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program. When the NBA asked him to take part in yesterday's event, Korver said he was more than happy to oblige.

"Hopefully, many people will participate once they hear it's only $10 to save a life," Korver said. "It's a matter of getting the word out, and the NBA is doing a good job of doing this."

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