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President Obama’s love for the game of basketball continues to grow.

In his latest venture, 44 has signed on as a strategic partner for NBA Africa as the American league continues to grow national interest.

While Obama won’t be scouting new talent, he will be helping push the league social responsibility to the next gear by making sure there’s gender equality and the ability for everyone –regardless of economic standing– has access to enjoy the game.

“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. “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.  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.”

The Basketball Africa League was first announced back in March, with the inaugural tip-off occurring in May after a few false starts because of the coronavirus. Dubbed the BAL, the new league includes 12 teams from across Africa playing its first season in 26 games at Kigali Arena in Rwanda, with Egypt’s Zamalek taking home this year’s trophy.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been praised for his ability to make the game more inclusive, listen to the players, and grow it beyond the 50 states, so it’s a win for him.

“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.  “In addition to his well-documented love for basketball, President Obama has a firm belief in Africa’s potential and the enormous growth opportunities that exist through sports.  NBA Africa will benefit tremendously from his engagement.”

The inaugural BAL season was broadcast to fans in 215 countries and territories in 15 languages, and Obama joining the front office will definitely help it continue to grow.

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