Kenya will be part of a continental basketball league with 12 teams courtesy of the NBA.
American National Basketball Association (NBA) is set to launch a professional basketball league in Africa that will feature 12 teams from several countries across the continent.
The league will debut next year and will be referred to as the Basketball Africa League. It will include teams from several African countries, including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia.
According to the CNN, the NBA announced its plan along with International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and will conduct qualification tournaments later this year. While there are several basketball teams across Africa, a pro league will unify them under one umbrella and provide resources and visibility.
In the CNN report the NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, “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.”
The NBA’s ties to Africa go a long way with some of its top players hailing from Africa such as Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby, whose parents are from Nigeria, and Hornets center Bismack Biyombo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joel Hans Embiid, a Cameroonian who plays for the Philadelphia 76ers. NBA global ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, who played for several teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Raptors President Masai Ujiri is from Nigeria.
The National Basketball Association is a men’s professional basketball league in North America which was founded on the 6th of June 1946 in New York City and is composed of 30 teams. It is widely considered to be the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world.