News Brief
Image courtesy of NBA Africa.

Image courtesy of NBA Africa.

Amadou Gallo Fall Named President of NBA's New Basketball Africa League

The Senegalese native, will lead the establishment of the NBA's newest league set to launch in 2020.

In February, it was announced that the NBA was establishing the Basketball Africa League (BAL), a new professional league based on the continent, in collaboration with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The new league will include 12 club teams from across the continent.

Ahead of its launch next year, it's been announced that NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall will act as President of the upcoming league.

Fall is a Senegalese native who began working with the NBA in 2010. "Amadou's efforts to grow basketball and the NBA's business across Africa have been extraordinary, and he is an ideal choice to lead the Basketball Africa League," said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. "This historic initiative will not only further enhance the game in Africa but also provide new opportunities in media, technology and infrastructure on the continent."


Fall is responsible for helping execute a number of Africa-focused NBA campaigns on the continent, including the NBA Africa games in South Africa. He also helped open the league's office in Johannesburg in 2010, and established the NBA Academy Africa in 2017, which provides scholarship to 25 young hopefuls on the continent between the ages of 14-20.

"Under Fall's leadership, the NBA has expanded its grassroots and elite development efforts across the continent, including the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa and TheNBA Academy Africa," read a press release from the NBA. "This year, the NBA plans to reach more than 2.5 million boys and girls ages 16 and under through Jr. NBA programs in 21 African countries. Fall will assume the role of President immediately.

BAL, the NBA's first major league outside of North America will begin in 2020.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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