NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has announced the launch of the league's newest business endeavor, NBA Africa. Led by former NBA stars Dikembe Mutombo and Grant Hill, entity will look to expand the league's business opportunities across the content as well as help grow the Basketball Africa League. In addition, NBA Africa will help maintain basketball academies across the continent and implement social justice iniatitives.
"With the expertise, resources and shared vision, the immensely successful investors and NBA legends, we believe that basketball in Africa can become a top sport over the next decade," Silver said during a recent press conference.
This month, the league opened its first office in Johannesburg, South Africa and launched the Basketball Africa League. As the business expands, NBA Africa hopes to add to its roster of investors that currently includes Hill, Mutombo, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. Also, entrepreneurs Babatunde "Tunde" Folawiyo and Tope Lawani have invested in the endeavor. Both Lawani and Folawiyo will serve on NBA Africa's board of directors.
"There is nothing more important to me than helping young people grow into leaders," Mutombo said.
"And the NBA has helped me and many other Africans create an incredible platform to make a difference. Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world, and Africa youth just need the opportunity and support to achieve great things. The new NBA Africa is the transformative next step to do just that."
The NBA is the first of the four major North American men's sports leagues to venture into the continent on this level. The NHL, NFL and MLB have yet to start a sports league or open a business in Africa.
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