During All Star Weekend it was announced that the NBA will be bringing basketball to Africa in 2020.
Teaming up with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to launch new basketball league that will consist of 12 teams and represent 9 countries.
The 12 teams on the continent will represent Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia. It’s the NBA’s first attempt to operate a league outside of North America.
“The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a statement. “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 teams will be chosen from among already existing professional teams in Africa. A qualifying tournament is being planned for later this year to determine which 12 teams will make the leap to the new league.
The decision to launch a new basketball league in Africa was met with applause around the internet. Former President Barack Obama cheered the decision to launch a new league.