NBA To Host Historic Game in South Africa

The NBA is finally finding its way to Africa.

Basketball fans all across the continent will rejoice the historic and sold out Team Africa vs. Team World game on Aug. 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg. The game will air live in the U.S. on ESPN at 9 a.m. and in Africa on SuperSport at 3 p.m.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced the full line up of the two teams yesterday and while no Kenyan players are on the roster, Team Africa are still expected to put up quite a fight.

Spearheaded by five-time NBA champion and legendary basketball coach Gregg Popovich, Team Africa’s roster comprises both first and second-generation African players such as Sudanese native and two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng of Miami Heat and Congo’s Serge Ibaka of Oklahoma City Thunder.

“Coming from South Sudan and having participating in the Basketball without Borders Africa camps in Johannesburg previously, I am truly honored to be part of this historic event,” said Deng, according to a recent NBPA press release.

Brooklyn Nets’ Lionel Hollins will coach Team World, which comprises players from the U.S. and a few other countries, including eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul of Los Angeles Clippers and Spanish native Pau Gasol of Chicago Bulls.

“It will be my first visit to the continent,” said Paul, “and I cannot wait to contribute to the growth of the game on and off the court.”

For the full roster and more information, check out the original press release and look out for the #NBAAfricaGame hashtag across social media.

Originally from Sweden, Chris is a journalist with an extensive interest for African culture and the arts.