President Obama is a die-hard basketball fan. During his time in office, we watched him play pick-up games and fill out his annual March Madness bracket. With a passion for the game, it’s only natural that he would be involved with it in some fashion.
Yesterday he did just that by announcing that he joined NBA Africa as a strategic partner.
“The NBA has always been a great ambassador for the United States—using the game to create deeper connections around the world, and in Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality, and empowerment across the continent,” said President Barack Obama in a statement. “By investing in communities, promoting gender equality, and cultivating the love of the game of basketball, I believe that NBA Africa can make a difference for so many of Africa’s young people.”
The former president has ties to the continent. His father was from Kenya, giving him an additional connection to his latest venture.
“We are honored that President Obama has become a strategic partner in NBA Africa and will support our wide-ranging efforts to grow the game of basketball on the continent,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.
The league, which featured 12 teams from 12 countries, recently finished its first season. Run by NBA Africa, the league’s games were televised in 215 countries and territories.
“We have ambitious growth plans for NBA Africa and having President Obama join our efforts is a recognition that through sport, Africa can take its rightful place on the world stage,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.
This content has been brought to you by First and Pen in partnership with TheHub.News. First and Pen “amplifies local sports stories from voices of color to the national conscience…”