Top basketball stars set for next week’s NBA Africa Game
Some of the biggest names in the National Basketball Association (NBA) will be in the continent for an exhibition game.
Dubbed, the NBA Africa Game 2017, it will be the second edition after last year’s hugely successful match-up between Team Africa made up of players of African heritage and Team World, which will be composed of players from outside the continent.
The exhibition game will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA).
The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) will also hold their 15th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa.
They announced the top 80 boys and girls all aged 17 and under from 26 African countries who will take part in the game.
Kenya will be represented by two players Caroline Njeri Nduta and Paul Tembo Otieno.
Team Africa will be captained by South Sudan-born Los Angeles Lakers player Luol Deng and Thabo Sefolosha (most recently with the Atlanta Hawks; Switzerland; parent from South Africa).
The team will be made up of Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Clint Capela (Houston Rockets; Switzerland; parents from Angola and Congo), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal; BWB Africa 2009), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011) and Serge Ibaka (Toronto Raptors; Congo).
Others are Luc Mbah a Moute (most recently with the LA Clippers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2003), Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks; Tunisia), Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers; U.S.; parent from Nigeria) and Dennis Schroder (Hawks; Germany; parent from The Gambia).
Team World will be led by Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki from Germany and American Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets. They will be joined by Leandro Barbosa (most recently with the Phoenix Suns; Brazil), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics; U.S.), Wilson Chandler (Nuggets; U.S.) and DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans; U.S.).
Others include Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons; U.S.), Courtney Lee (New York Knicks; U.S.), Kyle Lowry (Raptors; U.S.), CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.) and Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks; Latvia).
Joining the NBA and FIBA players will be NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Suns Vice President of Basketball Operations James Jones, former NBA players Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Bruce Bowen, Elton Brand, Brian Cardinal and Ronny Turiaf (France), and former WNBA players Rushia Brown and Astou Ndiaye (Senegal).
NBA head coaches Alvin Gentry (Pelicans), Michael Malone (Nuggets) and Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat), current NBA assistant coaches David Adelman (Magic), Pat Delany (Hornets), Sidney Lowe (Washington Wizards), Jamahl Mosley (Mavericks), Patrick Mutombo (Raptors) and Lloyd Pierce (76ers), and Patrick Hunt (President of the World Association of Basketball Coaches; Australia) will also serve as BWB Africa 2017 coaches.
San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford and Raptors President Masai Ujiri (Nigeria) will be the camp directors, with Duane Brooks (Pelicans) and Keith Jones (Rockets) serving as the camp’s athletic trainers.
A number of NBA front office personnel will also participate.