On Wednesday, the National Basketball Association said that it will be staging its first ever exhibition game in Africa as part of their plans of growing the sports later this year.
Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers will captain Team World while team Africa will be under the watchful eye of Miami’s power forward Luol Deng who was born in South Sudan. The game is set for August 1st and it will be played at South Africa’s Ellis Park Arena which is in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In a statement, NBA commissioner, Adam Silver said that, “The NBA has worked hard to grow the game of basketball in Africa, and I am excited to take this next step of playing our first game on the continent.” He added that, “Our players have been tremendous partners in this effort, and all of us look forward to sharing the authentic NBA experience and the values of our game with fans in Africa.”
Just as the teams name suggest, players from Team Africa will comprise of African players from all over the continent and Team world will feature players from around the world. In addition to promoting the NBA game in Africa, the game which is set to broadcasted live in South Africa as well as other countries will play in support of Girls & boys club of South Africa.
"I am extremely proud to be a part of the NBA's first game in Africa," said Deng who has featured in the NBA All-Star game twice.
"Coming from South Sudan and having participated in the Basketball without Borders Africa camps in Johannesburg previously, I am truly honored to be part of this historic event."