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NBA’s Basketball Africa League names host cities ahead of first season – SportsPro Media

August 1, 2019

Nike and Jordan Brand join as exclusive outfitter for the 12-team competition.

  • Posted: July 31 2019
  • By: Ed Dixon

NBA’s Basketball Africa League names host cities ahead of first season

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The Basketball Africa League (BAL) has announced the seven host cities for its inaugural season.

The regular season, which begins in March 2020, will take place in Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Rabat (Morocco) and either Monastir or Tunis (Tunisia). Kigali (Rwanda) will host the BAL Final Four and Final.

The new league – a collaboration between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) – will see its 12 teams divided into two conferences, each made up of three cities. The top three teams in each one will then qualify for the ‘Super 6’ round-robin play-offs to decide the semi-finalists, which, along with the BAL Final, will be a single-elimination game.

BAL also announced sportswear giant Nike and its Jordan Brand will be the league’s exclusive outfitter, providing official game uniforms, warm-up gear, socks and other apparel. Half of the teams will wear Nike, with the other half wearing Jordan Brand. The deal is also BAL’s first commercial partnership.

Amadou Gallo Fall, BAL’s president, said: “[These] announcements mark another important milestone as we head into what will be a historic first season for the Basketball Africa League.

“We now have seven great host cities where we will play and our first partnership with a world-class outfitter. We thank our first partners Nike and Jordan Brand for supporting us on this journey and ensuring our teams have the best uniforms and on court products.”

BAL will be the first time the NBA has been involved in operating a league outside of North America as it takes a major step forward in growing the game in the continent. It has already held three sell-out games there since 2015, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver adding that several of its commercial partners “have also expressed an interest to work with us in Africa.”