NBA to play its first game in Africa
The National Basketball Association has announced that it will play its first ever exhibition game in Africa on August 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Team Africa will tip-off against Team World and will feature two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng, born in South Sudan, as its captain.
The Miami Heat star will lead a roster made up of first and second generation African players.
NBA made the announcement on Wednesday thorough Twitter, “This August: @LuolDeng9 & Team Africa vs @CP3 & Team World in #NBAAfricaGame, Johannesburg!”
Team Africa captain Deng expressed his excitement via Instagram posting.
“It’s a genuine privilege and honor to represent Team Africa as its captain in the #NBAAfricaGame, and I’m sure all of the other participants are equally honored. This is another step forward in growing the game on our continent. #OneAfrica.”
Team World will be led by eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.
The game will be hosted in aid of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Ticket details and full player rosters are yet to be announced.
Some of the African players who have been at NBA include Nigerian Hakeen Olajuwon, Congolese Dikembe Mutombo, Nigerian Festus Ezeli, Tanzanian Hasheem Thabeet, Senegalese Dasagana Diop, Congolese Bismack Biyombo and the late Sudanese Manute Bol.