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Obama joins NBA Africa as strategic partner and minority owner

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Former President Barack Obama is now a strategic partner for NBA Africa and will help the organization advance its efforts on the continent, the league announced on Tuesday.

NBA Africa is in charge of the league's operations in the continent, in particular, the new Basketball Africa League, which recently concluded its first season. The former president will help the league's social responsibility efforts.

"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. "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."

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"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," he added.

The former president's basketball fandom has long been known as he liked to play when time permitted during his eight years in the White House. Obama visited the Kenyan village his father grew up in two years ago, along with other NBA representatives, to open a new basketball court.

“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,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “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.”

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Basketball in Africa is continuing to grow as the BAL, in their first season, featured 12 teams from 12 countries and the leagued televised games in 215 countries and territories.

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Tags: News, Barack Obama, NBA, Basketball, Africa

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Obama joins NBA Africa as strategic partner and minority owner

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