NBA to launch pro league in Africa with direct involvement from Barack Obama
28 February 2019
Former President Barack Obama will play a hands-on role in an NBA-backed basketball league in Africa according to USA Today.
The NBA and FIBA announced plans to launch the Basketball Africa League in January 2020. The league will consist of 12 teams from the continent. This will be the first pro sports league outside of the U.S. A qualifying event will determine the teams and no more than two teams from one country can qualify.
“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” NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a statement.
Obama’s role has yet to be determined but he did speak about his love for Basketball and creating a league on Twitter.
“I’ve always loved basketball because it’s about building a team that’s equal to more than the sum of its parts. Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court.”