The second edition of the Basketball Africa League kicks off March 5 in Dakar, Senegal. Two other cities, Cairo, in Egypt and Kigali, in Rwanda, will host this edition’s matches.
Initiated by the prestigious NBA, the North American basketball league, in partnership with the International Basketball Federation, the BAL replaces the former African Basketball League. How did we get here?
Sonny Young, Journalist VOA, says, “It’s no surprise the Basketball Africa League has named two of its biggest awards after pioneering big men on the continent, the BAL’s most valuable player award, named after a Hakeem “the dream” olajuwon from Nigeria. And the BAL’s defensive player of the Year award named in honor of Dikembe Mutombo, the Congolese giant. Probably the two best big men ever from Africa. They’ve inspired a lot of young African players, I see a lot of Olajuwon I when I look at Joel Embiid on the court, some of the moves he makes for a big man, very special player.”
According to its promoters, NBA Africa involves individual investors including former president Barak Obama, former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.