The NBA League and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced on Saturday their plan to launch a new professional league, the Basketball Africa League (BAL), featuring 12 club teams from across Africa, according to the official website of NBA and FIBA.
Qualification tournaments will be conducted later this year to determine the 12 teams that would represent several African countries, including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia and no nation will have more than two teams in the league.
“On FIBA’s behalf, it’s a huge joy to see our partnership with the NBA enter unchartered territory as we work together for the first time to maximize the potential of professional basketball in Africa. The Basketball Africa League will enable us to build on the solid foundation laid by FIBA Africa and relaunch the continent’s club competition to offer the ultimate platform for the very best clubs and players,” FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis said.
“The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa. Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
The BAL, scheduled to begin play in January 2020, would mark the first time NBA’s involvement with the operation of a league outside of North America.