President, Basketball Africa League (BAL), Amadou Gallo Fall has restated his commitment to encourage, create awareness and ignite passion amongst youths for development grassroots basketball in Nigeria and entire African continent via the Basketball Africa League.
He said that BAL in global partnerships with the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) will be dedicating a lot of resources in developing and promoting local talents and support teams to become real professional outfits that would respond to global standards.
Amadou, who spoke during a media roundtable in Lagos, said that developing the game of basketball will also focus on building the entire ecosystem, structure and foundation including training the coaches, referees and increasing participation among countries to grow a fan base, while creating a compelling product that will be attractive and marketable without skipping steps.
“Africa’s time is now and basketball is the sport of the future. We are open to taking every step to ensure that at the end of the day we create a compelling product with global standards.”
He emphasised the need for education to go hand in hand with the game in a bid to actualising the dreams of making the league one of the premier professional basketball league in the world in a few years to come.
Former NBA star, Olumide Oyedeji, expressed his delight, saying that the league has come to stay as Lagos and Nigerians will taste a little bit of NBA set of basketball. “Hopefully this would be like a wakeup call for us locally to grow our game of basketball, to know what we need to do because we have to understand that this BAL is a professional basketball.”
Another erstwhile NBA player and founder wakanow.com, Obinna Ekezie said, “I am really excited this is coming to Nigeria and Africa, there wasn’t such in my time. I know that NBA brings tremendous platform and with its support for the BAL, I have trust in the abilities of Amadou leading the NBA Africa and FIBA team to be able to put the ecosystem in place and attract the right kind of partnerships and investors; as such we need more people to come in and support the league because basketball is a tremendous game for kids, youths to get a very good education, scholarships and life lessons.”
The inaugural BAL regular season which is set to kick off in March 2020 would mark NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside North America.