By Samuel Ouma
Former US President Barrack Obama has joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa as a strategic partner to help advance social responsibility efforts across the continent, announced the association on Tuesday.
He will be the minority stakeholder in the organization, a position he intends to use in the future to fund Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa.
“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,” said Obama.
In the release, the ex-POTUS highlighted his love for the sport during his tenure. He noted that his father, a Kenyan, made him love the game when he gave him his first basketball at age 10.
“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,” he stated.
NBA Africa is making tremendous progress in Africa, including running Basket Africa League, inaugurated in May 2021 featuring 12 teams. It also expands the NBA’s presence in priority African markets, deepening the league’s engagement with players and fans across the continent and growing Africa’s basketball ecosystem through programs like the Jr. NBA, Basketball Without Borders (BWB) and NBA Academy Africa.
“I’ve been impressed by 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. That’s why I’m proud to join the team at NBA Africa and look forward to a partnership that benefits the youth of so many countries.”
“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,” he added.