Image via @NBA Twitter
During the 6th annual NBA Africa All Star Luncheon in Charlotte, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced the plan to launch the Basketball Africa League (BAL) in 2020. The Basketball Africa League will consist of 12 club teams across the continent of Africa set to begin play in January 2020. The NBA and FIBA will conduct qualifying tournaments later this year to make selections for the 12 teams. The BAL will consist of teams representing the following countries: Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia (no more than two teams from the same country will be able to qualify).
The BAL will be the NBA’s first partnership to manage a league outside of North America. NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated during the announcement that:
“The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa. Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa”.
Former United States of America President Barack Obama is said to be involved as well. Check out his tweet below:
This is a major move in further developing the game of basketball in the diaspora. There are already a growing number of players from Africa entering the NBA and the Basketball Africa League will only continue to grow the sport and develop the skillset of the players. We will keep you updated as we get more information. This is truly some exciting news.