The NBA Brings Their Top Players To Host First Game In Africa
The NBA is changing the game overseas. The Association’s top players will head to South Africa to play the first NBA game on the continent to benefit African charity organizations. Five-time NBA champion Gregg Popovich and Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins have formed two teams with Miami Heat player Luol Deng and Los Angeles Clipper Chris Paul as captains.
“I look forward to representing Team World in the first NBA game in Africa. It will be my first visit to the continent, and I cannot wait to contribute to the growth of the game on and off the court,” Paul said.
Today, thirty NBA teams house players from all over the world, raking in 101 international players this past season. This only represents a small portion of the organization’s efforts towards global involvement. The NBA held games and created programs in 215 countries and territories. In 2001, the organization paired up with FIBA to create global program Basketball Without Borders, camps that allow kids to be coached by NBA and WNBA players and drafted to professional teams. Since 2005, the NBA Cares program tackles social issues by providing resources to children and families worldwide. In 2010, Johannesburg, South Africa became home to an NBA global office with staff working towards their causes.
In two weeks, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association will advance its initiatives in Africa and support Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Taking place in Johannesburg, Basketball Without Borders Africa will hosts its 13th edition. NBA Cares and the National Basketball Players Association run programs with the help of Hoops 4 Hope, South African Airways, and NIKE. NBA players and coaches will build a basketball court, renovate a library and conduct seminars throughout the week. The festivities end with a sold-out game with NBA players going head-to-head in Team Africa vs. Team World at Ellis Park Arena.
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