Other Sport

African league players snubbed for NBA game

2015-07-26 15:00
Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies will display his skills at the NBA Africa game at Ellis Park. PHOTO: Joe Murphy / NBA via Getty Images

The first National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa game will take place on Saturday – but the sold-out event does not feature any African league players.

South Sudanese-born and two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng of the Miami Heat will captain Team Africa, which consists of first- and second-generation players from the NBA.

The game aims to promote the development of basketball in Africa, but according to the vice-president and managing director of NBA Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall, the NBA had not intended to select players from African leagues.

“The Africa game is an NBA game just like the All-Star game – only players from teams in the NBA can participate,” he said.

Cyril Shabalala, who is captain of the Duzi Royals, which plays in the Basketball National League (BNL), commended the NBA for hosting the Africa game, saying it would help to promote the sport – but expressed his disappointment that there were no BNL players in the match.

“It’s great that the NBA is hosting its first game that will put Africa on the map, but I would have loved it if they had worked hand-in-hand with the BNL.

“Most players from the domestic league don’t even have tickets to attend the game,” he said.

Shabalala hopes that corporate South Africa will start investing in local teams instead of foreign ones to help develop basketball in the country.

Fall said the NBA’s focus was to improve domestic African leagues.

“Maybe in future we will have games against one of the African league teams, but right now we are focusing on strengthening the development of the sport through programmes like Basketball without Borders,” said Fall.

National Basketball Players’ Association president and eight-time NBA All-Star player Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers will captain Team World.

Team Africa will take on Team World at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Read more on:    nba

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Floyd 'Money' Mayweather v Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor ... who've you got in Saturday's mega fight?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.