Barack Obama is helping the NBA launch a pan-African pro basketball league featuring 12 teams from across the continent, called the Basketball Africa League. Teams from 🇦🇴🇪🇬🇰🇪🇲🇦🇳🇬🇸🇳🇷🇼🇹🇳 + 🇿🇦 are set to take part.
During NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte, the league announced a partnership with FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, to create the Basketball Africa League. BAL will debut in 2020. The organization will feature 12 teams from across the continent, with qualifying tournaments to be held later this year.
The Associated Press reported Saturday that Obama is “among those who are expected to have direct involvement with the league’s plan to keep growing the game in Africa through the league and other initiatives.”
Obama wrote in a tweet, “always loved basketball because it’s about building a team that’s equal to more than the sum of its parts.
I’ve always loved basketball because it’s about building a team that’s equal to more than the sum of its parts. Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court. https://t.co/lghcLaUN9a
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says that the concept was discussed over the last several months. There has been a tremendous reception from many NBA team owners. In addition, several of the partners of the NBA have expressed a strong desire to work with the organization in Africa.
According to FIBA, no more than two teams from any African country will be able to qualify for the BAL. The countries will hold tournaments to determine the 12-team field include Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia.