The NBA is on its way back to South Africa. After holding its inaugural first ever NBA Africa game on August 1st, 2015, the NBA announced in February that it will be holding its second NBA Africa game this year on August 5th at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa.
— NBA (@NBA) August 4, 2017
The NBA Africa game consists of Team Africa vs. Team World, with all players being current or former NBA players. Team Africa is comprised of players either born in Africa or second-generation African players, while Team World consists of players from the rest of the world. The rosters for the NBA Africa Game are as follows:
Luol Deng – Captain (Los Angeles Lakers; South Sudan)
Thabo Sefolosha – Captain (Utah Jazz; Switzerland, one parent from South Africa)
Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Clint Capela (Houston Rockets; Switzerland, parents from Angola and the Congo)
Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal)
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon – Will Not Play)
Serge Ibaka (Toronto Raptors; Congo)
Luc Mbah a Moute (Houston Rockets; Cameroon)
Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks; Tunisia)
Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers; United States, one parent from Nigeria)
Dennis Schroder (Atlanta Hawks; Germany, one parent from the Republic of the Gambia)
Dirk Nowitzki – Captain (Dallas Mavericks; Germany)
Kemba Walker – Captain (Charlotte Hornets; United States)
Leandro Barbosa (Free Agent, last played for the Phoenix Suns; Brazil)
Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics; United States)
Wilson Chandler (Denver Nuggets; United States)
DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans; United States)
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons; United States)
Courtney Lee (New York Knicks; United States)
Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors; United States)
CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers; United States)
Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks; Latvia)
The coaching staffs for the two teams will consist of head coaches Alvin Gentry (Pelicans), Michael Malone (Nuggets) and Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat), assistant coaches David Adelman (Magic), Pat Delany (Hornets), BJ Johnson (Rockets), Sidney Lowe (Washington Wizards), Jamahl Mosley (Mavericks), Patrick Mutombo (Raptors) and Lloyd Pierce (76ers). Also participating are Heat assistant general manager Adam Simon, Raptors President Masai Ujiri (from Nigeria), athletic trainers Keith Jones (Rockets) and Ed Lacerte (Celtics). The referees for the game will be NBA referees James Capers and Zach Zarba. (via NBA.com)
The second NBA Africa game represents yet another example of the NBA’s growing global impact, and indeed the NBA’s growth on the continent of Africa. The 2015 game, which took place Aug. 1, 2015 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, was sold-out, and this weekend’s game is expected to be another sellout. There have been more than 70 current or former NBA players from Africa or with ties to the continent, including NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) and Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), both of whom made surprise appearances playing in the NBA Africa Game 2015.
The then-52 year-old Olajuwon even gave fans a little treat by showing off his classic trademark “Dream Shake” move and scoring over Nikola Vučević:
The exhibition game caps off the 15th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa basketball camp. The game will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA).
A huge reason why BWB was originally created was to raise awareness of the game of basketball in areas where it might not have otherwise been that well known, with Africa being essentially one of the biggest tests. Since 2001, these summertime basketball academies run by BWB volunteers are helping to expand the game to the continent, and the fact that the NBA Africa Game is returning with great interest and anticipation proves that Basketball without Border may be doing something right.
— NBA (@NBA) August 2, 2017
Another reason BWB Africa, and indeed BWB camps around the world, are so important is the inevitable unifying effect that the game has on those that play it. By encouraging people from other countries to come together over a shared love of the game of basketball, BWB is hopefully helping to create a more unified worldwide community.
The NBA Africa game will air live on August 5th at 5:00 pm CAT in sub-Saharan Africa on Kwesé’s TV, Internet and mobile platforms, including Kwesé Free Sports, Kwesé Sports, Kwesé partners Soweto TV (South Africa), Canal+ Afrique (Francophone Africa) and other select free-to-air channels, Kwesesports.com, and the Kwesé app. In the United States, the game will air live at 11:00 AM on ESPN2.