Roommates, how would you feel about the NBA expanding its franchise into Africa? If you’re here for it, get ready because the Basketball Africa League is underway and is set to kick things off in 2020. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the launch of the 12-team competition made up of teams across the continent.
Teams will come from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia. According to Bleacher Report, qualification tournaments will be held later this year to determine the inaugural participants.
“As we’ve been talking about this concept over the last several months, there’s been a tremendous reception from several of our NBA team owners,” Adam Silver said. “Several of our partners have also expressed an interest to work with us in Africa.” We hear it will be ran similarly to soccer’s UEFA Champions League.
Via Bleacher Report:
Basketball Africa League is the NBA’s first pro league outside North America and will be co-run with FIBA. President Barack Obama will also be part of the league, Silver said, according to the Associated Press’ Tim Reynolds. Obama’s role has not been determined.
“There’s been a fantastic reception,” Silver said.
The NBA has held exhibition games in Africa in three of the previous four years. As of July, more than 80 current and former players are from Africa or have ties to the continent. The league has held 16 Basketball Without Borders events in Africa.
“We’re excited to work closely with the NBA to develop and put in a place a professional league like none that we have ever seen in our region before,” FIBA Africa executive director Alphonse Bile said. “Through the Basketball Africa League, we can provide the many great clubs and players with the best possible environment to compete for the highest stakes.”
TSR STAFF: Chantel Kelli! @_popchanny on Instagram!