The inaugural season of The Basketball Africa League (BAL) was scheduled to tip off earlier this year in Dakar but was postponed due to the global pandemic caused by the COVID 19 virus. The league is expected to tip off later in the year, and when it does, it will replace the old continental club championship organised by FIBA.

The governing body, FIBA, began the restructuring of the continental championship last year when the FIBA Africa Champions Cup (FIBA ACC) was reformulated and branded FIBA Africa Basketball League, expanding the number of participating clubs from 12 to 16. With the new partnership with the NBA, the competition is now The Basketball Africa League. 

In her interview on The BAL Podcast, Senior Director of Business Operations at the NBA, Morgan Cato, explained the rationale behind NBA`s partnership with FIBA

“The partnership with FIBA shows the essence of true partnership. The NBA is a traditional American entity, and we are coming into a totally different cultural market. There are different processes , there are different norms. There’s just a degree of respect that goes into this partnership, and for it to be successful, it’s necessary at the same time."

Morgan Cato also added that partnership was a better option than competing.

"And we also don’t want to compete, it truly is by partnership that you grow this and exhibit the best basketball product on the court. That’s really why the partnership is important.”

The league will be played in 6 different cities across the continent with the playoffs and finals played at the Kigali Arena in Rwanda.

Images - FIBA/NBA


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