Obama Teams Up With NBA To Launch Pan-African Pro Basketball League

The Basketball Africa League will consist of 12 teams across the continent.

Former President Barack Obama and the NBA are teaming up to establish a new professional basketball league in Africa.

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.

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.

Tabie is your friendly neighborhood transplant, currently attempting to live out the big New York dream. During my free time, I like to write stories and short essays. I also use this expensive thing I bought called a camera. I capture moments and the beautiful people I encounter. I live by the motto "collaboration over competition" because why waste energy bringing someone down when we can rise together. Manhattanville College Alum.