Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
FILE - NBA players take part in a training session in Johannesburg, July 31, 2015. VOA

The NBA will invest millions of dollars in Basketball Africa League, its first professional league outside of North America, and will be hands-on in its operation, a top executive said Tuesday.

The NBA, in partnership with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), is launching the Basketball Africa League in January 2020, featuring 12 teams from across the continent.


“This league will be fully operated by the NBA,” Amadou Gallo Fall, the NBA’s vice president for Africa, told Reuters by phone from Johannesburg. “Our expertise and best practices will be on display.”

The NBA generated $8 billion in revenue last season, according to Forbes, and industry players say audience interest in Africa has grown alongside the profile of Africans playing in the world’s top basketball league.

Cameroon’s Joel Embiid, a 25-year-old center for the Philadelphia 76ers, has emerged as a top player in the NBA, signing a five-year contract with the team worth nearly $150 million in 2017.


FILE – Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid reacts during a basketball game in Atlanta, March 23, 2019. VOA

This season, Embiid and 24-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, born in Greece to Nigerian parents, are contenders to become the NBA’s most valuable player.

The NBA established an Africa office nine years ago. It held its first NBA Africa game in 2015. Games in 2017 and 2018 were played in front of sold-out crowds in South Africa.

Basketball Africa League will involve six national champions — from Nigeria, Angola, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Senegal — who will automatically qualify for the competition. The remaining six will come through international qualifiers later this year.

“It’s an opportunity through our partnership with FIBA to continue to strengthen the basketball ecosystem here,” Fall said.

He did not confirm exactly how much the NBA would be investing in the league but said it was millions of dollars.

African NBA players

As the NBA courts African audiences, African players have been conquering the NBA.


The NBA began in March livestreaming on YouTube two games a week for free for viewers in sub-Saharan Africa, in a bid to build a larger fan base on the continent. Wikimedia

There were 13 African-born players on the rosters of NBA teams at the opening of the 2018/19 season, out of the 108 international players. That rises to about 40 if players with African parents are included, Fall said.

“It tremendously impacts the growth in popularity of the NBA,” he added.

The NBA began in March livestreaming on YouTube two games a week for free for viewers in sub-Saharan Africa, in a bid to build a larger fan base on the continent.

ALSO READ: Chicago Appoints its First Black Woman Mayor

The league opened an elite basketball academy in Senegal in 2017 which, along with its Basketball Without Borders Africa program, has showcased African talent hoping to play for NBA teams or U.S. colleges.

The next step is for an African basketball team to secure an Olympic medal, Fall said.

“That day is coming soon,” he added. (VOA)


Popular

wikimedia commons

Recently, Tom and Jerry was made into a live action film

Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.

The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Unsplash

Indians Rarely Make Time For Arts And Culture, Says Survey

One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.

The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by alexey turenkov on Unsplash

What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?

What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?

Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.

"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.

2 glasses of a white drink Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS

Keep reading... Show less