While the NBA playoffs were confronting the best American squads all over the US, with the fans back and a little bit of adrenalin between the Knicks and the Hawks, commissioner Adam Silver is thinking bigger for Africa. The NBA boss announced the creation of “NBA Africa”, a project that is supported by investors like former basketball players Joakim Noah, Dikembe Mutombo and Luol Deng.
NBA Africa will be an entity aiming at developing the NBA business all over the continent. Concretely speaking, the organism will work on favorizing African development through basketball: setting up academies, camps and training infrastructures, as well as helping to detect young talents who could possibly play in the NBA, the best basketball league in the world.
The other big part of the job for NBA Africa will be to manage the organization of the Basketball Africa League. The brand new tournament, called BAL and inaugurated this year (the official start in 2020 was postponed because of the sanitary crisis), is a competition that takes place in Africa between twelve teams.
Created by the NBA and the FIBA to replace the former model, the BAL was organized in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda, for this edition (May 16-30). NBA Africa will have to completely handle the business and its rights starting next year.
These NBA plans for Africa and its young population are expected to encourage development by sports. It is not the first time that the NBA has been looking towards Africa and its people: in 2015, the first edition of the NBA Africa Game was taking place in South Africa for a first NBA game ever on the continent. This exhibition game has been opposing a team composed of African players to an international team led by some of the best American players in the last couple of years. The last edition dates back to 2018.