The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have announced a series of fan engagement, youth development, community service, business and sports medicine events in the week leading up to NBA Africa Game 2017, the league’s second game in Africa, which will take place Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa. The events include an expanded NBA Africa Game Fan Zone, the first NBA Africa Innovation Summit and Jr. NBA Africa Festival, a sports medicine symposium, and a series of events to leave a lasting legacy in the community.
As part of the announcement, the NBA and NBPA also announced that Jordan Brand and SAP have joined Kwesé Sports, Castle Lite, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, General Electric, Marriott International, Solektra International and 947 as official partners of NBA Africa Game 2017. The partner roster represents the most-ever for the NBA in Africa.
“We are thrilled to expand our footprint in South Africa as we celebrate the second NBA game in Africa,” said NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall. “Our week of events and extensive outreach in the local community continue our efforts to grow the game and create positive social change across the continent. We are grateful to all our partners for their support throughout this journey.”
“We are a proud partner of the NBA Africa Game, which gives fans and communities the opportunity to experience the magic of the game firsthand on and off the court,” said Econet Media President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Hundah. “Ultimately, as the official home of the NBA in Africa, we are committed to exposing more African sports fans to basketball through our exclusive coverage of the game across our various platforms.”
NBA Africa Game Fan Zone:
This year’s expanded NBA Africa Game Fan Zone, which will be hosted at The Zone in Rosebank, Johannesburg from Thursday, Aug. 3 – Sunday, Aug. 6 in partnership with Kwesé Sports, Marriott International and SAP, will feature appearances by current and former NBA players, fan competitions and performances from NBA mascots and dunk teams. The free, four-day interactive event for fans of all ages will culminate with the live broadcast of NBA Africa Game 2017 on Aug. 5. Registration is now open at NBAFan.Zone.
NBA Africa Innovation Summit:
The first NBA Africa Innovation Summit, which will be hosted at The Venue in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg on Friday, Aug. 4 in partnership with Kwesé Sports, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), General Electric, SAP and Solektra International, will bring together leaders from business, entertainment, philanthropy, sports, social entrepreneurship, technology and youth development to share and discuss innovative proposals for addressing challenges in youth development across Africa.
Jr. NBA Africa Festival:
The first Jr. NBA Africa Festival, which will be held at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng, North West from Tuesday, Aug. 1 – Wednesday, Aug. 2 in partnership with Kwesé Sports and Royal Bafokeng Sports, will bring together boys and girls ages 14-and-under from Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe to compete in a tournament. The festival will teach children the fundamental skills and core values of the game, including teamwork, leadership, fitness and healthy living. The winning team will be presented with the Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Championship Trophy at the Ticketpro Dome during NBA Africa Game 2017.
NBA Sports Medicine Symposium:
The NBA and NBA Physicians Association will host a sports medicine symposium at Hyatt Regency Johannesburg on Aug. 4, which will bring together international leaders in orthopedics, sports medicine and performance to highlight best practices in player health and wellness. The symposium will provide an opportunity for participants, including NBA team physicians and athletic trainers, to exchange ideas and develop relationships between the NBA and international experts, with the goal of improving player health and wellness in basketball and across sports.
NBA Cares and NBPA Foundation Community Events:
As part of NBA Africa Game 2017 and Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa 2017 efforts, NBA Cares – the league’s global social responsibility program – and the NBPA Foundation will host a series of events to leave a lasting legacy in the community. On Aug. 2, local youth and Special Olympics athletes will participate in a Jr. NBA Special Olympics Unified® clinic at the American International School of Johannesburg. On Aug. 3, NBA players, coaches and legends will volunteer to build 10 homes in Orange Farm Township and help refurbish spaces in the nearby Itemoheng Primary School in partnership with Habitat for Humanity South Africa. On Aug. 4, the NBA family will return to SOS Children’s Village Ennerdale for the fourth time to visit with the village’s orphaned children, their families and staff. NBA players, legends and executives will visit the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory before the game on Aug. 5.
Prior to BWB, a contingent from the NBA including former WNBA player Rushia Brown, NBA players Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Brooklyn Nets) and CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers), and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), will travel to Addis Ababa and Tigray, Ethiopia for a UNICEF field visit and U.S. State Department Sports Envoy trip. The trip will include a sports visit to a UNICEF school in Addis Ababa and a trip to Tigray to visit UNICEF’s nutrition programs in the region. Brown and Hollis-Jefferson will host basketball clinics and other activities with youth in Addis Ababa.
BWB campers will attend daily hour-long life skills seminars led by Hoops 4 Hope, using the sport of basketball and its values to highlight leadership development, peace building and the importance of health and wellness.
NBA Africa Game 2017, which will take place following the 15th edition of BWB Africa, will once again feature a Team Africa vs. Team World format and will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA). The game will air live 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. Tickets are available for fans by visiting ticketpro.co.za.