The NBA announced Monday that it has formed NBA Africa, which will oversee all league business on the continent, including the Basketball Africa League, according to the Associated Press (h/t Sportsnet).
Congo native Dikembe Mutombo, South Sudan native Luol Deng, Junior Bridgeman, Grant Hill and Joakim Noah are investors in NBA Africa. Commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum will be on the board of directors.
The NBA’s goal is to grow the Basketball Africa League and launch additional NBA academies on the continent.
There are 55 players currently in the NBA who were either born in Africa or have a parent from there, per the AP. Some of the best African-born NBA players, past and present, include Deng, Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Joel Embiid, Manute Bol, Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam.
The NBA has held three summer exhibitions in Africa, and there are hopes for more. However, there are currently no plans to host a preseason or regular-season game on the continent.