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The NBA Postpones Basketball Africa League Due to Health Concerns

The inaugural Basketball Africa League which was set to kick off this month has been postponed due to health concerns around the coronavirus outbreak.

The BBC reports that the NBA's inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) has been postponed due to health concerns around the coronavirus outbreak.

No new dates have been given yet for the BAL which was supposed to kick off in the Senegalese capital of Dakar on March 13th.


The BAL's inaugural season, which will comprise 40 games over a period of 3 months, is set to take place in a host of major African cities including Dakar, Kigali, Cairo, Lagos, Rabat, Luanda and several others.

President of the BAL, Amadou Gallo Fall, commented on the postponement in a press release saying, "Following the recommendation of the Senegalese government regarding the escalating health concerns related to the coronavirus, the BAL's inaugural season will be postponed." He went on to express disappointment at the postponement but said that the much-anticipated season would begin at a latter date.

Last year, the NBA announced that it would be launching the BAL, its first professional league outside of North America. The move comes at a time when African talent is beginning to dominate basketball both on and off the court.

Speaking in an interview with OkayAfrica's Damola Durosomo, Vice President & Head of Strategy and Operations for the BAL, John Manyo-Plange, spoke about the grand vision for the league saying:

"We feel that in the next five years, the BAL is going to be the number two basketball league globally. We have high aspirations for what this is going to become. As the average fan of the sport, when you experience basketball on the continent currently, and then the NBA and the BAL come in town, and then you experience what we put on, and all the activities around it, there's going to be a marked difference between the two. If we don't achieve that, then we've done something wrong. The talent is here. All the raw materials are here. We now have to package it properly."

As it stands, there are reportedly 94 000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the world with an estimated death toll of just over 3000 people. You can view the specifics of these statistics here. The virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

African countries which have confirmed cases of the virus include Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal.

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Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

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