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NBA: Obama involved in plans to launch Basketball Africa League
Former President Obama will be involved in the development of the NBA's first professional league outside of North America.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced on Saturday that Obama would be a part of Basketball Africa League, a 12-team competition consisting of countries from the continent. The Associated Press noted that it is unclear what role Obama will fill.
"There's been a fantastic reception," Silver said during the NBA's All-Star game festivities, according to Bleacher Report.
The news outlet noted that Basketball Africa League will begin in 2020 and feature Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
The league will be co-run by the NBA and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). It will include qualification tournaments later this year to determine the inaugural entrants.
"We're excited to work closely with the NBA to develop and put in a place a professional league like none that we have ever seen in our region before," FIBA Africa executive director Alphonse Bile said. "Through the Basketball Africa League, we can provide the many great clubs and players with the best possible environment to compete for the highest stakes."
Obama commented on the plans in a tweet on Saturday, saying that "he's 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."