December 11, 2019
First Basketball Africa League Combine Was Held in Brooklyn, New York
According to the NBA, there is a new professional league The Basketball Africa League (BAL), which will feature 12 teams from across Africa and scheduled to begin playing in March 2020. This past week they held the first BAL Combine in Brooklyn, New York.
The two-day scouting event featured 50 aspiring players from across Africa, the United States, and other parts of the world. The BAL Combine took place last week at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) Training Center, the Brooklyn Nets official practice facility, in Brooklyn, New York.
Each of the 12 teams that are playing in the upcoming inaugural season of the BAL will have up to 16 players (12 active and four inactive), at minimum, eight of the players will be citizens of their teams’ home country and up to four can be from other countries, with no more than two players per team from outside of Africa.
“Our goal is to establish the Basketball Africa League as a destination for top players with U.S. college, G League and international experience,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “Our first BAL Combine will provide teams with the opportunity to evaluate a deeper pool of talent as they fortify their rosters ahead of our first season, which tips off in four months.”
The first BAL regular season is scheduled to take place in Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Rabat (Morocco) and Monastir (Tunisia). The first BAL Finals will be held in Kigali (Rwanda). NIKE and Jordan Brand will be the exclusive on-court outfitter of the new professional league.
The NBA and FIBA have plans to provide financial support and resources toward the development of Africa’s basketball ecosystem, including training for players, coaches and referees, and an investment toward the infrastructure.
The announcement about the NBA and FIBA’s launch of the BAL, which marks the NBA’s first collaboration with a league outside of North America, was initially made at the NBA All-Star 2019 Africa Luncheon in Charlotte on Saturday, Feb. 16.