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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.

Photos
Photo: Sachyn Mital for The Town Hall.

This Is What Fatoumata Diawara's NYC Concert Looked Like

In photos: the Malian singer performed a stunning show at The Town Hall.

Fatoumata Diawara played a mesmerizing show in New York City over the weekend.

The Malian singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor had The Town Hall swaying to a selection of songs from her latest Grammy-nominated album, Fenfo, as well as other classic cuts.

Fatoumata was joined on the night by a four-piece backing band that followed her every word and guitar riff, as she showcased her special blend of traditional Malian music and striking Bambara vocal melodies with elements of modern rock, funk, R&B and afrobeat.

"I didn't want to sing in English or French because I wanted to respect my African heritage," Fatoumata has mentioned."But I wanted a modern sound because that's the world I live in. I'm a traditionalist, but I need to experiment, too. You can keep your roots and influences but communicate them in a different style."

Fatoumata's main message, one which she stated throughout the show, is one of hope for the future of Africa and of female empowerment. It's "about the world, peace, how Africa can be a better place, especially for women, because I am one, and I am a survivor," she says. "I want to encourage those who have lost hope."

Browse through pictures from her show at The Town Hall, which was opened by Guatemala's Gabby Moreno, below.

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Photo by Issue Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images

Togolese President Wins Re-election to Secure Fourth Term in Office

President Faure Gnassingbé prepares for a fourth term in office following an election wrought with fraud allegations.

Togo's electoral commission has just released the preliminary results of the first round of the presidential election.

President Faure Gnassingbé reportedly secured 72 percent of the vote while his main opposition and former Prime Minister Agbeyome Kodjo who straddled behind with just 18 percent of the vote, according to Aljazeera.

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Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane Added to Rocking The Daisies 2020 Lineup

Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane will be performing in South Africa during this year's edition of Rocking The Daisies.

Rocking The Daisies is celebrating its 15th year of existence this year. The popular music and lifestyle festival recently announced they have added four new names on the bills—UK's Stormzy and Col3trane alongside US rapper YBN Cordae and the singer Ari Lennox.

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Left: Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images. Centre: Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Global Citizen. Right: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100.

Lupita Nyong'o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Wizkid & More Bag NAACP Image Awards

Check out the full list of winners for this year's NAACP Image Awards.

The 51st NAACP Image Awards were held this past Saturday in Pasadena, California.

Naturally, the awards show pulled through and finally gave our fave Black performers the recognition they deserve for their outstanding performances last year.

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