The Africa Game announcement was made by NBA vice-president and managing director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall, at the 2018 NBA Africa All-Star luncheon in Los Angeles.
The NBA was the first major US professional sports league to host games on the African continent. The first Africa Game took place on August 1, 2015 at Ellis Park Arena in downtown Johannesburg. The South African city was also host for the second game last year at the Ticketpro Dome on August 5.
Team Africa was led by Thabo Sefolosha (pictured) of the Utah Jazz and Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers, while Team World was captained by 13-time NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks and NBA All-Star Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets.
“Hosting the third NBA Africa Game in Johannesburg gives us the chance to celebrate Africa and to celebrate the energy these role models bring for our youth,” Gallo Fall said, according to the IOL Sport website.
“It’s not just about the game being played on the court. We have a whole week where we engage with the community, where we host an innovation summit, where we bring some of the brightest minds across different sectors, in technology, music, fashion and science to come and share their vision with our young people.
“Basketball is used only as a catalyst. We are saying to Africa’s young people that the dreams they are chasing, if we can create an enabling environment, they can make it happen.”
Meanwhile, NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said the league hopes to take a pre-season game to India “relatively soon” in a bid to tap into a growing market for the sport. The NBA is building up its presence in India and last year opened its NBA Academy India at the Jaypee Greens Integrated Sports Complex in Greater Noida.
Silver said Sacramento Kings owner, Mumbai-born technology entrepreneur Vivek Ranadivé, is pushing the project. The commissioner said, according to Indian news agency PTI: “We have an excellent relationship with the Reliance Foundation and with other corporate partners in India. We have an office in Mumbai, and one of the things we’re looking at, which we hope to do relatively soon, is bring a pre-season game to India.
“There is an enormous amount of basketball being played, even in India. It’s such a large country, obviously, over a billion people, that there is a significant amount of basketball being played. A little is dependent on the arena infrastructure, but we’ve heard some good news from the market in terms of Delhi and Mumbai about plans for new arenas.”