NBA

NBA Forms New Entity In Africa

Feb 15, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a press conference during NBA All Star Saturday Night at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, The NBA has formed a new entity in Africa. “NBA Africa” will oversee the league’s operations inside the continent. This includes the Basketball Africa League (BAL), whose inaugural season came about in October 2019.

The league brought in multiple investors on the project. This group includes former NBA players such as Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, Grant Hill, Junior Bridgeman, and Dikembe Mutombo. The entity is valued at over a billion dollars, according to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

The Purpose Of NBA Africa

Dec 29, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) controls the ball against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last several years, the NBA has had an influx of talent hailing from African countries. Players like Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam have become household names in their short careers. With this move, the league is aiming to expand itself inside the African continent. Additionally, the hope is that this expansion will lead to more people growing attached to the game itself. Adam Silver was quoted as saying such during a press conference on Monday morning.

“Today’s announcement is the result of many years of investment and on-the-ground work to grow the game of basketball in Africa and a recognition of the enormous opportunities ahead for the NBA on the continent,” Silver said in a press release. “We believe that basketball can become a top sport across Africa over the next decade, and I look forward to working closely with our investors to make that goal a reality.”

Adam Silver, Via cbssports.com

The Basketball Africa League

KIGALI, RWANDA - MAY 20: Antwan Scott #12 of Atlético Petróleos de Luanda moves the ball against the Forces Armees et Police Basketball at Kigali Arena on May 20, 2021 in Kigali, Rwanda. (Photo by Nicole Sweet/BAL/Basketball Africa League via Getty Images)
Photo by Nicole Sweet/BAL/Basketball Africa League via Getty Images

The BAL is Africa’s top men’s basketball league. Its creation was a joint effort between the NBA and FIBA. The league consists of 12 teams that earn their spot in a separate tournament.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, operations were postponed. It only recently resumed operations. With the NBA’s newfound inclusion into the league, its reach across Africa will surely grow in the coming years.

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