NBA to play its first exhibition game in Africa in August

Wednesday April 22nd, 2015

The NBA will play its first exhibition game in Africa this summer, the NBA and NBPA announced.

The game will take place Aug. 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa, and will have a Team Africa vs. Team World format.

Miami Heat forward Luol Deng will captain the African team and Los Angeles Clippers guard and NBPA president Chris Paul will lead the world team.

“I am extremely proud to be a part of the NBA’s first game in Africa,” Deng said. “Coming from South Sudan and having participated in the Basketball without Borders Africa camps in Johannesburg previously, I am truly honored to be part of this historic event.”

The rest of the rosters will be named later.

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Those expected to participate include NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens, Toronto Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri, New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams, Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins and Nets general manager Billy King.

“The NBA has worked hard to grow the game of basketball in Africa, and I am excited to take this next step of playing our first game on the continent,” Silver said. “Our players have been tremendous partners in this effort, and all of us look forward to sharing the authentic NBA experience and the values of our game with fans in Africa.”

- Scooby Axson

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