Obama to join NBA Africa as strategic partner

Obama to join NBA Africa as strategic partner
© getty: Former President Obama

The NBA announced on Tuesday that former President ObamaBarack Hussein Obama Chelsea Manning tests positive for COVID-19 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - Tight security for Capitol rally; Biden agenda slows Obama backs Trudeau in Canadian election MORE is joining NBA Africa as a strategic partner.

In a statement, the NBA said Obama will help advance the league's social responsibility efforts in Africa, creating programs and partnerships that support gender equality and economic inclusion.

Obama, who is of Kenyan descent, will have a minority equity stake in the partnership, using it to fund his Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa, according to the NBA.

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NBA Africa, which launched in May, was created to expand the league’s presence in African nations. It also includes several social responsibility initiatives on the awareness of “gender-based violence, supporting girls' education, and improving the livelihoods of African youth and families.”

“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States—using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent,” Obama said in a statement. “By investing in communities, promoting gender equality, and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement that the league is honored to have the former president to be a strategic partner, adding that Obama’s “well-documented love for basketball” will be helpful for the league’s growth on the continent.

Obama, who is a Chicago Bulls fan, appeared in the 2020 ESPN-Netflix documentary “The Last Dance,” which chronicled basketball legend Michael Jordan’s last championship run with the Bulls.

As president, Obama would often share his annual brackets for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.