Huge Prospect For Basketball Growth In Africa : A Journalist’s Travelogue In 2018

By Kayode Hammed: (Twitter: @kayodemed)

There’s a certain aptitude and splendour that gets combined to any sporting eventuality when Los Angeles is a horde city. And when it came to a 2018 NBA All-Star festivities, Hollywood did not defect in vital adult to a standard. Need we contend we was tender by a classification put together by a NBA? 

At a party gymnasium of Hotel Indigo in downtown Los Angeles, some of a NBA’s biggest former and stream stars, as good as a African continent’s brightest entrepreneurs, musicians and influencers collected for a NBA Africa Luncheon where a proclamation of a 3rd NBA Africa Game  was announced by a commissioner of a NBA, Adam Silver.

NBA commissioner Silver pronounced in no capricious terms that a NBA saw a African continent as a vital expansion eventuality for a organization from a personification and blurb perspective.

“Africa is one of a fastest-growing continents in a universe and a NBA and a competition of basketball is one of a fastest flourishing sports in a world. The NBA Africa diversion is not usually about sport, yet it’s also about business. We see a outrageous eventuality in Africa,” pronounced Silver.

I held adult with Toronto Raptors President, Masai Ujiri, a Nigerian and a usually non-white arch executive of a 4 authorization sports in a United States as he continues to make efforts directed during flourishing a diversion on a continent: “We feel unequivocally absolved that a NBA took a beginning to have a diversion for a third time in Africa and this gives us a height to demonstrate ourselves in many ways. People get to see a farrago of enlightenment and it is going to be a unequivocally singular experience.”

The launch was attended by a likes of NBA tellurian envoy Dikembe Mutombo, NBA players Frank Ntilikina (New York Knicks), Emmanuel Mudiay (New York Knicks), Cheick Diallo (New Orleans Pelicans), Bismack Biyombo (Charlotte Hornets), actor Djimon Hounsou and thespian Akon, among others.


On Jul 4, 2018, a Agence Francaise Development (AFD) and a National Basketball Association (NBA) announced their devise to jointly foster amicable inclusion by building basketball infrastructure and conducting girl basketball programmes, events and initiatives in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Senegal and other comparison African countries.

The grave proclamation was done by a President of France during Lycee Francais Louis Pasteur School in Victoria Island, Lagos. Also benefaction during a eventuality were AFD Chief Executive Officer, Remy Rioux and NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA Global Ambassador, Dikembe Mutombo, former NBA players, Olumide Oyedeji, Ronny Turiaf, Pops Mensah-Bonsu and Obinna Ekezie,  Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema and a French Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer.

The NBA and AFD devise to combine on and enhance their mutual and longstanding commitment in Africa by providing basketball apparatus and training to youths and coaches and training life skills in comparison African countries.


The NBA Africa Game 2018 was an muster basketball diversion played on Saturday, Aug 4 during a Sun Arena, Time Square in Pretoria, South Africa, yet before to a diversion proper, activities in a days heading to a eventuality done both a cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria tick.

The Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa Camp, NBA CARES – a village overdo project, a NBA Innovation Summit and a media event with NBA Commssioner, Adam Sliver, Deputy NBA Commisioner, Mark Tatum and NBA Africa Managing Director and Vice President, NBA, Amadou Gallo Fall all supposing a credentials and a low discernment about a prospects for a diversion expansion and development.

Silver spent an hour deliberating primarily African topics, yet a discuss of a vital joining on a continent, that has supposing a NBA with 25 of a stream stars, sparked many interest.

When we asked him about a probability of carrying a unchanging deteriorate NBA Game, given it’s high time, a Commissioner remarked: “When we were during a Mandela Centre of Memory, we were reminded of his mostly steady quote that competition has a energy to change a world, and my annexation to that quote, carrying review many about President Mandela, was that competition is an mercantile engine.

“One of a opportunities we’re exploring is a growth of a Pan-African basketball league. It’s still in a unequivocally early stages; a locus infrastructure is not nonetheless in place to support a bone-fide league.

“I met with Patrick Bauman, Secretary General of FIBA (now late) and he pronounced he would be understanding of a judgment as well. It’s in a unequivocally early stages, yet as we leave a continent in a few days, I’m withdrawal my assign to Amadou and his colleagues in Johannesburg to rise a fully-fledged plan.”

Silver was put on a mark again when we asked about a structure of a due league, where teams would come from, and how they would qualify.

He was honest in his response, saying: “I’ve suspicion about it, yet we’re too early in a routine to give specific answers. But we know it’s something Amadou and his staff are spending time on.”

Amadou Gallo Fall, who is also an NBA vice-president, named a likes of Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon and Tunisia as a hotbeds of a diversion in Africa and focal points for grassroots development, with a contingent idea of a continental joining as a home for those players.


The 2018 Power Forward finals perceived soap-box reviews following a successful execution of a fifth book in Abuja, Nigeria’s collateral city.

The finals, that took place from Sep 26 to 28, enclosed a basketball hospital with former NBA actor Jerome Williams, village overdo and justice loyalty as good as a boys and girls finals of a 2018 Power Forward basketball deteriorate during a National Stadium, Abuja.

Franck Traore, Director of Basketball Operations, NBA Africa, voiced pleasure during a recognition and achievements of a programme in Nigeria.

“Power Froward has a home now in Nigeria. Nigeria is a priority for a NBA in general. You can't speak about girl sports growth though including Nigeria. Since a pregnancy of a programme 5 years ago, each year there’s a light boost in a series of participation; we are unequivocally gratified with it. The kids are engaged, and even yet a schools were wavering during first, they now consider a sky is their limit,” Traore said.

On his part, former NBA and D’Tigers star Olumide Oyedeji, hailed a NBA and their partners for regulating a beginning to commission and learn immature Nigerians profitable life skills.

“This is a good beginning by a NBA, ExxonMobil and Africare. It teaches a immature kids about leadership, health recognition and preparation as good as basketball. It’s a good beginning that I’ve always supported; it motivates me and inspires me. we wish we can have some-more organisations do this same thing and assistance commission a kids,” a ex-Seattle SuperSonics centre said.

Power Forward, a girl growth beginning of ExxonMobil, a National Basketball Association and general NGO Africare, teaches health education and life skills by basketball and other means to definitely impact Nigerian delegate propagandize pupils in Abuja.

Victory Adekunle, a product of a Power Forward beginning and an SS3 student of Model Secondary School pronounced her life has incited around given she became a partial of a programme.

Adekunle was in South Africa in Aug to watch a NBA Africa Game and also attend in a NBA’s programmes while in Johannesburg.

She stated, “I knew about Power Forward by a crony and we came for training, we afterwards started doing village work and cleaning. When we got to delegate school, we was absolved to join it entirely and we continued operative hard, that’s how we got to where we am currently with a programme.

This year, a programme reached tighten to 12,500 youths in schools and exposed communities with life skills information, providing some-more than 6500 persons with malaria impediment strategies and diagnosis and substantiating 20 palm rinse stations to foster hygiene and model care skills.


The National Basketball Association on Monday, Sep 26, 2018 cut a badge on a new training centre in Saly, Senegal, where it hopes to rise a new era of African players for a league.

The facility, that comforts dual indoor courts and a weight room in further to dormitories and educational facilities, will be a primary training plcae for masculine and womanlike prospects from opposite a continent.

The centre is partial of NBA Academy Africa, that has seen 3 of a graduates dedicate to play during Division 1 colleges in a U.S. given it non-stop final year.

“We are anxious to open this universe category new venue in Saly for NBA Academy Africa prospects,” pronounced Amadou Gallo Fall, a NBA’s clamp boss and Managing Director for Africa.

“This trickery will yield determined players from opposite a continent with state-of-the-art courts and training equipment, underneath a origin of a NBA coaches and a universe category educational staff,” he said.

The NBA Academy Africa is operated in partnership with a SEED Project (Sports for Education and Economic Development), a non-profit organization that uses basketball to rivet girl in academic, jaunty and care programs. 

Since Oct 2016, NBA Academies have been launched in Australia, India, Mexico and mixed cities in China.


6 immature Nigerians, Timothy Ighoefe, Nelly Joseph, Chukwudalu Calistus Egbejiogu, Tobi Samuel Ariyibi, John Kenoye and Joshua Ojianuwa have all stood out among their peers during a stay with peculiar defying displays during a stay on a utterly unchanging basis.

One of a Nigerians in a camp, Timothy Ighoefe done a headlines when a 18-year-old committed to play for Patrick Ewing during Georgetown subsequent season, usually 3 years after switching to basketball in Lagos.

The many translatable ability that Igohoefe possesses is his shot-blocking ability. That is substantially what done him mount out to Patrick Ewing as well. He unequivocally uses that length to his advantage. In a dual games we watched, Igohoefe blocked several shots, and altered some other layup attempts as well

“I need to work on my speed, using down a building baseline to baseline,” Ighoefe pronounced during a phenomenon of a new training trickery during a NBA’s African academy in Senegal. “My left hand, we need to improve, to finish with my left hand.”

The 6’10” large male has a 7’7.5″ wingspan, an 8’11” station reach, and a 10’11” one-step vertical, according to statistics from a 2018 NBA G-League Player Invitational that Igohoefe took partial in in August.

In other words, there is intensity yet it is a work in swell — usually like Africa itself for a NBA JOURNALIST’

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