The Basketball Africa League is Africa’s premier men’s basketball league scheduled to begin in October 2019.
The league was created in a partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and FIBA with sponsorship from the Jordan Brand and Pepsi.
Rwanda is hosting qualifiers for BAL 2020 in Kigali where 8 teams from East Africa will be competing.
Among the 8 teams that are currently competing in Kigali are Patriots BBC in Team A which represents Rwanda in the championship, JKT from Tanzania, University of Zambia Pacers and GNBC from Madagascar.
Team B includes City Oilers from Uganda, Ferroviario de Maputo from Mozambique Kenya Ports Authority from Kenya and Cobra Club from South Sudan.
Patriots BBC started the championship with a 94-88 win against GNBC from Madagascar and qualified for the semi-finals.
Before the game started, President Kagame unveiled new BAL logo in an event that brought together the president of FIBA Africa, Anibal Aurelio Manave, Amadou Gallo Fall, BAL president, Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, the Minister of Sports, FIBA Africa Secretary General Alphonse Bilé, President of the South Sudan Basketball Federation Luol Deng and Nigerian Basketball Player, Olumide Oyedeji.
President Kagame commended FIBA and NBA initiative to create BAL championship.
“We are particularly honored that this very important basketball championship starts in Rwanda.”
He thanked those who took part in involving Rwanda in the championship. “BAL is a complement to the multitude of talents in Africa. We are proud of shaping players who will represent us across the world.”
BAL logo symbolizes the richness, diversity, and authenticity of Africa, and embodies African basketball on the world stage. It depicts a basketball player taking a jump shot and has a green, yellow, red and royal blue background. The logo also symbolizes the Pan-African footprint the league will have.
The red and royal blue colors connect to the logo of the NBA and denote love, energy, strength, and confidence while the yellow and green colors denote the hope for a better future in Africa, joy, and wisdom.
The basketball player taking a jump shot represents the strength, skill, and talent that will be showcased by African players in the inaugural BAL season that will start in March 2020.
Amadou Gallo Fall, BAL president says that the championship will foster a competitive spirit and promote a Basketball heritage in Africa.
“BAL logo has the particularity of depicting the amalgam of richness, authenticity, and diversity typical of Africa and represents the African continent on a global scale.”
The inaugural regular season of BAL will feature twelve teams from Africa and will take place in Cairo in Egypt, Monastir in Tunisia, Dakar in Senegal, Rabat in Morocco, Lagos in Nigeria and Luanda in Angola with Kigali hosting the first-ever BAL Finals.
During the championship, players will only use kits of NIKE and Jordan brands. NBA and FIBA also sponsored the championship in terms of financial support, training players, trainers and referees and building infrastructures that will be used during BAL.