Former US President Barack Obama has expressed his support for the plan to launch a new tournament in Africa and is preparing to play a role in this project.
The first African American president of the United States of America said he enjoyed the collaboration between NBA and FIBA (the global basketball regulator) to create a high quality tournament in Africa. Barack Obama is also expected to participate directly in a basketball team in that tournament, but the specific role has not been disclosed.
Barack Obama is an avid basketball enthusiast
Mr. Barack Obama is an avid basketball fan. During his time in office, he once built a basketball court at the White House and often played with employees.
NBA President Adam Silver also expressed excitement because former President Barack Obama wanted to play a role in this tournament’s project. He said the NBA and the former US president are negotiating on issues regarding the new tournament in Africa.
Michael Jordan’s Jordan brand wants to be one of the NBA partners in the new tournament.
President Adam Silver also revealed Pepsi and Jordan brand (belonging to Michael Jordan) of Nike also wants to be one of the partners of the new tournament in Africa.
The NBA and FIBA will provide financial support and resources to develop basketball in Africa, as well as train players, coaches, referees and build infrastructure for the tournament. The NBA has held 3 basketball matches in Africa since 2015, including 2 times in the city of Johannesburg and 1 time in the South African capital Pretoria.
NBA has also opened an office in South Africa, helping to establish 87 training facilities in 7 African countries. In addition the NBA built a basketball trainee in Senegal nearly 2 years ago.
Africa is a lucrative basketball market that the NBA and FIBA aim for
The original plan was to create a tournament of 12 teams by January 2020, but it was still unclear which team would attend. There will be qualifying tournaments held in late 2019 in countries such as Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, etc. Each country is only allowed a maximum of 2 The team participated in the official tournament.
It is clear that Africa is a key market that NBA and FIBA aim to develop basketball to reach out in the world.