The NBA backed Basketball Africa League (BAL) today announced the inaugural seven cities that will host the games when the Basketball Africa League begin in March 2020.
Kigali, Rwanda in the heart of Africa was selected as the host city for the first ever BAL Final Four and BAL Final.
According to the release, the teams will play in the cities of Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Rabat (Morocco) and Either Monastir or Tunis (Tunisia) during the regular season.
The big picture: The BAL is a continental new professional basketball league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa, NBA commissioner Adam Silver elaborated on plans to establish the league during a press conference at the NBA All-Star 2019 Africa in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 16. It is a joint effort between the National Basketball Association and FIBA with sponsorship from NIKE the Jordan Brand and Pepsi.
The 12 teams will be divided into two six-team conferences, each conference playing games in three of the six host cities.
Each team will play five regular-season games; each for a total of 30 games, with the top three clubs in each conference advancing to the playoffs.
The six playoff teams – the “Super 6” – will play in a round-robin format to determine the four teams that will advance to the BAL Final Four and BAL Final in Kigali, Rwanda in late spring 2020. The BAL Final Four and BAL Final will be single-elimination games.
The announcements were made by BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall during a reception at the Musée des Civilisations Noires in Dakar in the presence of FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bilé, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, along with current and former NBA and WNBA players.
"Today's announcements mark another important milestone as we head into what will be a historic first season," BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall said.
Where is the funding coming from: The NBA and FIBA also plan to dedicate financial support and resources toward the continued development of Africa’s basketball ecosystem, including training for players, coaches and referees, and infrastructure investment.