On August 1st, 2015, the Ellis Park Arena (Johannesburg) will host the first ever NBA Africa Game between Team Africa and Team World.

NBA Africa Game, Team Africa

Team Africa will be captained by Heat’s SF Luol Deng, who was born in South Sudan. He will be supported by Al-Farouq Aminu (Trail Blazers, Nigeria), Festus Ezeli (Warriors, Nigeria), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks, Nigeria), Bismack Biyombo (Raptors, DR Congo), Luc Mbah a Moute (Kings, Camerun), Nicolas Batum (Hornets, Camerun), Boris Diaw (Spurs, Senegal), Gorgui Dieng (Timberwolves, Senegal). Gregg Popovich will be in charge as the head coach, Monty Willams and Mike Budenholzer (2014-15 coach of the year with the Atlanta Hawks) as assistants.

The first NBA Africa Game will greet african NBA legends Dikembe Mutombo and Hakeem Olajuwon. Mutombo was born in DR Congo and won 4x NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Nigerian Hakeem The Dream won back-to-back NBA Championships and NBA Finals MVP in 1994 and 1995.

NBA Africa Game, Team World

On the other hand Team World will be guided by Clippers’ american All-Star Chris Paul. CP3 will be joined by Evan Turner (Celtics, USA), Marcus Smart (Celtics, USA), Bradley Beal (Wizards, USA), Kenneth Faried (Nuggets, USA), Jeff Green (Grizzlies, USA), Marc Gasol (Memphis, USA), Pau Gasol (Bulls, Spain), e Nikola Vucevic (Magic, Montenegro). Head coach for Team World will be Lionel Hollins from the Brooklyn Nets, while Celtics’ Brad Stevens will be the first assistant.

NBA Africa Game, basketball without borders and against ebola

This historic matchup in Johannesburg has a double aim. In first place it is about publicizing the game in other countries with the Basketball Withour Borders campaign (on Twitter #BWBAfrica), this way sharing and spreading basketball to other cultures. At the same time the NBA Africa Game also took the #AfricaAgainstEbola campaign on: the objective is to try and fight one of the worst epidemics of Africa’s recent history.

 

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Thomas Pullin

Thomas Pullin