The NBA and FIBA have announced a 12-team basketball league in Africa that will begin play in January 2020 via a statement by Commissioner Adam Silver, as reported by Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Dubbed the Basketball Africa League (BAL), it will have a play-in structure: teams will have to qualify to play in the league, and only two teams per country can qualify.
Former president Barack Obama is expected to have a significant role in the league.
I’ve always loved basketball because it’s about building a team that’s equal to more than the sum of its parts. Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court. https://t.co/lghcLaUN9a— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 16, 2019
The Trail Blazers have played a meaningful role in the NBA’s attempts to expand its brand on the continent. Al-Farouq Aminu has participated in two NBA Africa games as part of Team Africa, while CJ McCollum has played in it once as part of Team World.
You can read more about the new league at USA Today.