Barack Obama Joins NBA Africa

NBA Africa just scored perhaps one of the biggest names on the planet - former US President Barack Obama - to be a strategic partner and minority owner.  

In a press release, Obama provided the following statement regarding his new involvement:

The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States - using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent. By investing in communities, promoting gender equality, and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people. I’ve been impressed by the league’s commitment to Africa, including the leadership shown by so many African players who want to give back to their own countries and communities. That’s why I’m proud to join the team at NBA Africa and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many countries.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also had something to say about the high profile appointment:
We are honored that President Obama has become a strategic partner in NBA Africa and will support our wide-ranging efforts to grow the game of basketball on the continent. In addition to his well-documented love for basketball, President Obama has a firm belief in Africa’s potential and the enormous growth opportunities that exist through sports. NBA Africa will benefit tremendously from his engagement.
NBA Africa runs the newly formed Basketball Africa League (BAL), which concluded its first season back in May, with Egypt's Zamalek winning the inaugural title over Tunisia's US Monastir. The BAL created three awards to honor NBA players that came from Africa - Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria), Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Manute Bol (South Sudan). 

Walter Hodge (Zamalek) won the Hakeem Olajuwon BAL MVP, Anas Osama Mahmoud (Zamalek) won the Dikembe Mutombo BAL Defensive Player of the Year while Makrem Ben Romdhane (US Monastir) took home the Manute Bol Sportsmanship Award

Photo Credit: Richard Burkhart via Imagn Content Services, LLC