Adam Silver, NBA announce Basketball Africa League, set to launch in 2020

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the formation of the Basketball Africa League. More

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the formation of the Basketball Africa League. More

"The establishment of the Basketball Africa League is another exciting milestone for the NBA in Africa", said Amadou Gallo Fall, vice president and managing director for NBA Africa. No nation will have more than two teams in the league.

Spears of The Undefeated pointed out, the league will work sort of like soccer's Champions League.

Initially, the new league will be built on the foundation of current club competitions run by basketball's worldwide mother body, the International Basketball Association (FIBA) is organising in Africa.

The NBA and FIBA also announced plans to hold qualification tournaments this year to determine the 12 teams, which are slated to officially begin play next January.

Silver added that former President Barack Obama will be involved in the NBA's efforts in Africa in an as-of-yet unknown capacity.

"The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa", Silver said in a statement.

Duke vs NC State
The first opening minutes of Saturday's game between Duke and NC State will be critical for the Blue Devils . Bryce added 13 points for the Wolfpack (18-8, 6-7), who had their two-game winning streak snapped.

"This is a natural extension of what we have done through the joint initiative that is Basketball Without Borders (BWB), which helps find, develop and nurture young talented players all around the world, including in Africa". Teams from several African countries will participate, including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.

Commissioner Silver is excited about the new league, and the continued growth of the game on an global level.

Silver noted that Mr. Obama wants an active role in the Basketball Africa League. "He has said 'I want to be directly involved with these activities in Africa.' He understands the economic opportunities in Africa". "I hope you learn through sport what it means to play as a team, and even if you are the best player, your job is not just to show off but your job is to make your teammates better".

The NBA and FIBA will team up to fund the project and will continue to provide resources to grow the game over the sprawling continent, and will invest in coaching and training for players, referees and officials.

Bile said: "The implementation of this league is vital to our young up-and-coming players in Africa as it gives them something to take aim at".

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