Recently, the NBA announced that former President Barack Obama became a strategic partner and minority owner for NBA Africa, the league’s effort to grow the game on the continent. Launched in May, the formation of NBA Africa will conduct and oversee all league’s business in Africa and also includes the Basketball Africa League (BAL). NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said it’s valued at nearly $1 billion.
Obama plans to help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts, including programs and partnerships across the continent that support greater gender equality and economic inclusion, the NBA said in its press release.
According to the release, it also stated that Obama would use his stake in NBA Africa to fund the Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa.
“In this capacity, President Obama will have a minority equity stake in the new venture, which over time he intends to use to fund Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa,” the league’s statement read.
“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 statement of his own.
“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.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke on the exciting news of the endeavors of the former president.
“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.
“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 CEO Victor Williams said, “We have ambitious growth plans for NBA Africa and having President Obama join our efforts is a recognition that through sport, Africa can take its rightful place on the world stage. We look forward to working with President Obama and our strategic investors to use basketball as an economic growth engine across the continent and as a platform to improve the health and wellness of one of the world’s youngest and fastest-growing populations.”
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