The Basketball Africa League (BAL) has announced the 12 club teams from 12 African countries that will compete in the league’s inaugural season, which will tip off Friday, March 13 at the Dakar Arena in Dakar, Senegal.
The announcement was made by BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall at the NBA All-Star 2020 Africa Luncheon in Chicago.
In attendance at the occasion were FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis, NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts, Retired General Martin E. Dempsey and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
Also present were FIBA President Hamane Niang, FIBA Africa and BAL Board President Anibal Manave, FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bilé, Philadelphia 76ers Co-Managing Partner David Blitzer, Milwaukee Bucks Co-Owners Wes Edens and Marc Lasry, Brooklyn Nets Alternate Governor Oliver Weisberg, NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum, Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri and members of the NBA family, including Las Vegas Aces center and three-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage (Australia; parent from Nigeria), New Orleans Pelicans Vice President of Basketball Operations and Team Development and three-time WNBA Champion Swin Cash, NBA Cares Ambassador Jason Collins, former NBA players Festus Ezeli (Nigeria), Mamadou N’Diaye (Senegal) and Olumide Oyedeji (Nigeria), Boston Celtics two-way player Tacko Fall (Senegal), 2005 WNBA Champion Hamchétou Maïga-Ba (Mali), two-time NBA Champion D.J. Mbenga (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Capital City Go-Go General Manager Pops Mensah-Bonsu (Ghana), NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Oklahoma City Thunder guard/forward Abdel Nader (Egypt), Los Angeles Sparks forward and two-time WNBA All-Star Chiney Ogwumike (parents from Nigeria) and Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie (Nigeria).
“This is a historic moment as we welcome the 12 teams that will participate in our inaugural season,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “These teams have earned the opportunity to represent their respective countries and will establish the BAL as a world-class product that entertains fans of all ages when the season tips off March 13.”
Champions from national leagues in six countries – Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia – were guaranteed representation in the inaugural BAL season. The remaining six teams, which come from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda, secured their participation through BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by FIBA Africa across the continent in late 2019.
NIKE and Jordan Brand, the BAL’s exclusive on-court outfitter, today unveiled the official BAL uniforms. NIKE and Jordan Brand will outfit the league’s 12 teams with official game uniforms, warmup apparel, socks and practice gear, with six teams featured in NIKE and the other six teams in Jordan Brand. The collaboration with NIKE and Jordan Brand marks the BAL’s first partnership.
The BAL has also launched the league’s official website and social media accounts. Fans can now follow the BAL @theBAL on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and register their interest in receiving more information at www.theBAL.com.
The inaugural BAL regular season will take place in Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Monastir (Tunisia) and Salé (Morocco). Kigali (Rwanda) will host the first-ever BAL Playoffs and Finals.
The BAL will debut with 12 club teams from across Africa divided into two conferences, with each conference playing in three cities. Each team will play five games in the regular season, facing every team in its conference once. The top four teams in each conference will qualify for the single-elimination playoffs in Kigali, Rwanda.
Additional details about the BAL will be announced in the coming weeks.