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NBA commissioner announces Barack Obama to be involved with Basketball Africa League
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Saturday that former President Barack Obama will be involved in a project to develop a basketball league in Africa, the NBA's first league outside of the U.S.
The Basketball Africa League will consist of 12 teams from nine countries including Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, and Senegal, according to Bleacher Report, with each country being limited to two teams. The league will hold qualifiers later this year to determine the participants for the first year of official play in 2020.
The former president's role has reportedly not yet been determined.
"As we've been talking about this concept over the last several months, there's been a tremendous reception from several of our NBA team owners," Silver said, according to Bleacher Report.
"Several of our partners have also expressed an interest to work with us in Africa," the NBA commissioner reportedly added.
The league will be co-run with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), whose executive director in Africa said Saturday that he was "excited" to work with the NBA to develop a league on the continent. The FIBA is a 213-nation association that governs the rules and equipment standards for the sport around the world.
"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," Alphonse Bile said, according to Bleacher Report. "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."