Mbalula to launch SA's NBA
Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula is set to launch a new South African basketball league on Friday.
The sports ministry said on Wednesday that Mbalula would announce the format of the Basketball National League (BNL) in Johannesburg on Friday.
"The BNL is a professional sport and entertainment business which has been modelled on the highly successful NBA, NBL Australia, and the Euro league," the ministry said in a statement.
"It has now been recognised as the pinnacle of professional basketball entertainment in South Africa."
The plan was to start the three-month league in September, with 158 games to be played between 12 teams in all nine provinces.
Basketball is played in over 200 countries throughout the globe, according to the ministry, and the world governing body Fiba (Fdration Internationale de Basket-ball, or the International Basketball Federation) has more than 450 million registered participants worldwide.
It is hoped the new competition would contribute towards building a competitive national team and provide aspirant professional players with career opportunities.