President Obama is a known hooper, but he is playing a different kind of basketball game as a new minority owner in NBA Africa.
The president issued a statement about the new role, which also includes strategic partnership.
“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. 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. 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.”
The partnership includes philanthropic efforts baked into it. According to Black Enterprise, Obama will take his financial stake and continue to fund the Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs in Africa.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver expressed his glee at the former president’s inclusion in NBA Africa.
“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. 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.”
NBA Africa made worldwide headlines when its debut in May 2021 included rapper J. Cole. NBA Africa offers 12 teams from 12 African countries. The league, which has been assisted by the NBA and FIBA, will have 12 players players per team. Of each team, eight of those players will be local, and the other team members can be from another country.