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Greek-Nigerian forward Giannis Antetokounmpon. Image via Flickr.

The NBA Is Officially Launching the 'Basketball Africa League' in 2020

President Obama will be involved with the establishment of the league.

The NBA is officially heading to the continent.

The professional basketball association has announced that it will launch the Basketball Africa League next year which will feature 12 teams from across the continent, reports CNN. Participating countries include Angola, Egypt, Rwanda, Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia.

The league is a collaboration between the NBA and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), notes CBS News.


"The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a statement. "Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa."

The league will host qualification tournaments later this year.

The NBA has maintained somewhat of a presence on the continent by hosting the NBA Africa game annually since 2016. Cameroonian center of the 76ers Joel Hans Embiid, Nigerian players Victor Oladipo and Giannis Antetokounmpon as well as Congolese player Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors are just some of the players with African roots who currently play in the NBA.

The establishment of a league on the continent is intended to help unify the continent's various independent teams and offer more exposure and resources.

President Barack Obama, a known basketball lover, congratulated the association's move via Twitter and pointing out the unique opportunity it presents for the continent. According to Tim Reynold's of the Associated Press, the former president has expressed a desire to be directly involved with the league.

"I hope you know through sport that if you put in effort you will be rewarded, I hope you learn through sport what it means to play as a team and that even if you are the best player your job is not just to show off but your job is to make your teammates better," said Obama, in a video shared on the NBA's Twitter account, which also features Rwanda's President Paul Kagame.

We're anxious to see what this could mean for the many talented basketball players on the continent. The league will debut in January 2020.

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Bobi Wine's Release Detailed in Latest Episode of 'The Messenger'

Trauma is the topic on the podcast's latest episode: "The Ballot or The Bullet."

The latest episode of The Messenger is something to behold.

Created by Sudanese-American rapper Bas, The Messenger throws the spotlight on the thunderous circumstances many African countries face, with a close focus on Ugandan politician Bobi Wine.

In his most recent traumatic experience, Wine and his wife Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi were released from a nearly two-week military house arrest following the ruling of a Ugandan court. Keeping up with current events and circumstances that Wine finds himself in, the latest episode of the podcast recounts the traumatic events that led to Wine's very public abuse and eventual house arrest.

Upon his release, Wine spoke with The Messenger and had this to say, "I want to remind the world that we went in this election knowing how corrupt the staff of the electoral commission is. We saw this through the campaign and the world saw how much was oppressed, how biased and one sided the electoral commission was, and how much it was in the full grip of General Museveni. And therefore we are going to test every legal test, we shall take every legal test. We shall take every legal step. And indeed we shall take every moral and morally proactive, nonviolent, but legal and peaceful step to see that we liberate ourselves. The struggle has not ended. It is just beginning."

Listen to Episode 7 of The Messenger here.

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