The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have announced that NBA Africa Game 2017, the NBA’s second game in Africa, will take place Saturday, August 5 at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The announcement was made at the annual NBA Africa All-Star Luncheon in New Orleans by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA VP and MD for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall, who were joined by NBA Africa Game 2017 players Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic player from DRC), CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.) and Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets player also from DRC).
(TOP: NBA Africa Game 2015 group photo. Photo: NBAEGetty Images).
The game, which will take place following the 15th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa, will once again feature a Team Africa vs. Team World format and will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA). Team Africa will be comprised of players from Africa and second generation African players, and Team World will be comprised of players from the rest of the world. The game will air live in sub-Saharan Africa on Kwesé’s TV, online and mobile platforms, including Kwesé Free Sports, Kwesé Sports, select free-to-air channels and the Kwesé app.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said: “Basketball is witnessing explosive growth in Africa. Our return to Johannesburg this summer is part of the league’s continued commitment to bring the authentic NBA experience to fans around the world. I would like to thank the NBPA for their participation and for being terrific partners on this game and surrounding events.”
On her part, NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts said: “NBA players are among the most popular athletes in the world, and we’re excited to continue the game’s global growth with this second game in Africa. Our players remain committed to growing the game on the continent, and this showcase will continue to build on the positive momentum we generated with the historic first game in 2015.”
NBA VP and MD for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall commented: “NBA Africa Game 2015 was a resounding success, and we are grateful for the support of the players and team personnel who participated. While we are investing more than ever in grassroots programming and in delivering locally relevant content to our fans across the continent, there is no substitute for live NBA games. I hope fans from throughout Africa will join us in Johannesburg or on Kwesé’s platforms on August 5 to see some of the NBA’s best players compete on African soil.”
Econet Founder and Executive Chairman Strive Masiyiwa remarked: “Kwesé is fast becoming the destination of choice for sports fanatics across sub-Saharan Africa, and the ability to exclusively carry NBA content, including NBA Africa Game 2017, on all Kwesé platforms is indicative of the strides we are making in the sports and broadcast industries.”
Biyombo, the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and a member of Team Africa in NBA Africa Game 2015, will join 2015-16 NBA All-Rookie Second Team member Mudiay on Team Africa. McCollum, the 2015-16 Kia NBA Most Improved Player, will play for Team World.
Orlando Magic forward/center Bismack Biyombo said: “It was an honor and privilege to play in the first NBA game in Africa in 2015. I’m looking forward to another great game in August.”
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum said: “I’ve heard so many great things from players around the league who traveled to South Africa in 2015 for the first NBA Africa Game and Basketball without Borders. I can’t wait to suit up for Team World in Johannesburg this summer.”
Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay added: “Returning to Africa to play in the second NBA game on the continent is a dream come true. I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate and look forward to leading Team Africa to a win on August 5.”
Full rosters of players, coaches and legends, along with ticket information will be announced at a later date.
The sold-out NBA Africa Game 2015, the first NBA game on the continent, took place Aug. 1, 2015 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg and was played in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOSCVSA.