Shout out to Basketball Without Boarders for holding African NBA fans down for a really long time. But we’re finally about to get the REAL thing!
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced this Wednesday that the NBA’s first game in Africa will take place on the 1st of August 2015 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The NBA Africa Game marks a major milestone in our efforts on the continent, which began more than 30 years ago,” said NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa Amadou Gallo Fall. “It is a pivotal moment for the growth of basketball on the continent, and we are grateful to the Players Association, players and team personnel who have committed to be part of this historic event.”
The game will feature a Team Africa v Team World format and will be played in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Eight-time NBA All-Star and NBPA President Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers will serve as Team World’s captain and two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng of the Miami Heat – born in South Sudan – will serve as Team Africa’s captain.
Full rosters of players, coaches and legends, along with ticket information will be announced at a later date, but word on the streets is that they’re bringing all the stars out for this one.
It’s about damn time, considering that Africa has made a fair contribution to the league over the years. More than 35 players from Africa have played in the NBA since Nigerian Hall-of-Famer and two-time NBA Champion Hakeem Olajuwon was drafted in 1984.
Are you psyched or what?