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Former US President Barack Obama has joined NBA Africa as a strategic partner to help advance corporate social responsibility efforts across the continent, the National Basketball Association said Tuesday.
Obama will have a minority stake in the new venture, which he plans to use over time to fund the Obama Foundation’s youth and leadership programs across Africa.
“By investing in communities, promoting gender equality and cultivating a love for the game of basketball, I believe NBA Africa can make a difference to so many African young people,” Obama said in a press release.
“I am impressed by the league’s dedication to Africa, including the leadership shown by so many African players who want to give back to their own country and community… That’s why I’m proud to join the team at NBA Africa and I look forward to a partnership that will benefit the youth of so many countries.”
A record 14 African players were on the NBA’s opening night 2020-21 rosters, including some of the best players in the game such as four-time All-Star Joel Embiid, who has been actively involved in the game’s growth and development. efforts of the competition. in Africa.
The league announced in March the creation of NBA Africa, a new entity designed to conduct business on the continent, including the Basketball Africa League (BAL).
The NBA has a decades-long history in Africa, opening its African headquarters in Johannesburg in 2010.
Since then, the league has focused on increasing access to basketball and the NBA through efforts such as NBA Africa Games, the launch of the BAL, social responsibility, grassroots and elite development, and business partnerships.
The BAL, with 12 top club teams from 12 African countries, is a partnership between the NBA and the International Basketball Federation.
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