“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States—using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent,” Obama said in a written statement.
“By investing in communities, promoting gender equality, and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people. I’ve been impressed by the league’s commitment to Africa, including the leadership shown by so many African players who want to give back to their own countries and communities. That’s why I’m proud to join the team at NBA Africa and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many countries.”
President Obama’s involvement will help advance the National Basketball Association’s social responsibility efforts across the African continent. Obama intends to utilize the minority stake to fund Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across the continent of Africa.
“We are honored that President Obama has become a strategic partner in NBA Africa and will support our wide-ranging efforts to grow the game of basketball on the continent,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “In addition to his well-documented love for basketball, President Obama has a firm belief in Africa’s potential and the enormous growth opportunities that exist through sports. NBA Africa will benefit tremendously from his engagement.”
NBA Africa is in charge of the NBA’s business in Africa, which includes the Basketball Africa League (BAL), which ended its inaugural season in May. NBA Africa features 12 of the top club teams from 12 African countries. NBA Africa is focused on expanding the NBA’s presence in priority African markets while growing Africa’s basketball presence through programs such as the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa, and NBA Academy Africa.