Former President Barack Obama is joining NBA Africa as a strategic partner, with the goal of “advancing the league’s social responsibility efforts across the continent,” the National Basketball Association announced on Tuesday. In his role, Obama will hold a minority stake in the organization, which runs NBA affairs in Africa.
“I have been impressed with 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,” said Mr. Obama, of Kenyan descent. , in a press release. “This is why I am proud to join the NBA Africa team and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many countries.”
Established in May in collaboration with the International Basketball Federation, NBA Africa runs the Basketball Africa League (BAL) – the NBA’s first internationally managed professional league. The NBA said in a statement that NBA Africa is focused on “expanding the NBA’s presence in priority African markets and the African basketball ecosystem.”
BAL was formed in 2019 and held its inaugural season in May 2021. Twelve club teams from 12 African countries competed in the season, which was broadcast to 215 countries and territories in 15 different languages, according to the NBA.
With his NBA Africa partnership, Obama “will help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts across the continent, including programs and partnerships that support greater gender equality and economic inclusion,” he said. ‘organization.
According to the NBA, the former president intends to use his stake in the new venture to help fund the Obama Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization founded by Barack and Michelle in 2014. “As president and Through my foundation, I have achieved a priority to involve young Africans, ”said Mr. Obama in a video posted by NBA Africa.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league was “honored” to add Obama as a strategic partner. “NBA Africa will benefit enormously from his engagement,” he wrote in a statement.