NBA to start African basketball league with 12 teams throughout the continent

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CNN)The NBA is launching a professional basketball league in Africa as a way to characteristic 12 groups from several nations throughout the continent. The league will debut next year and may be known as the Basketball Africa League. It will encompass groups from several African international locations, which includes Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia. The NBA announced its plan together with International Basketball Federation and could conduct qualification tournaments later this 12 months. While there are several basketball teams across Africa, a seasoned league will unify them beneath one umbrella and provide resources and visibility. “The Basketball Africa League is an important subsequent step in our persisted improvement of the sport of basketball in Africa,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a declaration Saturday. “Combined with our different programs at the continent, we are committed to the use of basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports activities, media and era throughout Africa.” Former President Barack Obama applauded the statement.

“I’ve always cherished basketball because it’s about constructing a team it truly is the same to more than the sum of its elements,” he tweeted. “Glad to see this expansion into Africa because, for a growing continent, this may be about plenty extra than what takes place on the court docket.” The NBA’s ties to Africa go a great manner. Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby, whose mother and father are from Nigeria, and Hornets middle Bismack Biyombo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where most of the players who attended the NBA All-Star Africa luncheon Saturday, in which the assertion become made. Other players with ties to Africa consist of Joel Hans Embiid, a Cameroonian who performs for the Philadelphia 76ers. NBA global ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, who played for numerous teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Raptors President Masai Ujiri is from Nigeria.