The NBA Shoots Its Shot at Africa With A New League
By CultureBanx Team
The Basketball Africa League will begin to play next year in January 2020
13 players who were born in Africa play in the NBA
The NBA announced the coming of a pro league team in Africa in partnership with FIBA, the governing body of the sport called the Basketball Africa League. Even our forever President Barack Obama is using his affection for basketball to help the sport in the continent of Africa. The Basketball Africa League is set to be a 12-team league and will begin to play next year in January 2020.
Why This Matters: On opening night NBA rosters this season included 13 players who were born in Africa and the league hopes to cultivate even more talent in the region. In order to set up various teams qualification tournaments will be held later this year. Contenders from Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia are expected to be among those taking part. Each club can only have a maximum of two teams in the league.
International growth prospects keep investors super interested in where the NBA sets up shop next, due to its strong current economic environment. Last season, the league’s 30 teams generated $7.4 billion in revenue up 25% from 2017, according to Forbes. The average NBA franchise is now worth a record $1.65 billion and earned an average of $52 million.
Obama is pretty hype about this outreach and tweeted “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.” This isn’t his first foray into being involved with basketball in the continent, he has assisted Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri, a Nigerian native with the giants of Africa youth basketball program.
Situational Awareness: This marks the first time the NBA has been involved with the operation of a league outside of North America. So far the NBA has held three games in Africa since 2015, all of them selling out, according the league.
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