NBA, Fiba delay start of Basketball Africa League

The National Basketball Association and Fiba have delayed the start of the new Basketball Africa League due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The new pro basketball league, encompassing a dozen teams across the African continent, had been slated to start play March 13 in Dakar, Senegal. But the ongoing public health worries have led league partners the NBA and Fiba to delay the league’s debut.

A new date for the BAL to begin play has not yet been determined.

“Following the recommendation of the Senegalese government regarding the escalating health concerns related to the coronavirus, the BAL’s inaugural season will be postponed,” said BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall. “I am disappointed we are not able to tip off this historic league as scheduled but look forward to the highly anticipated launch of the BAL at a later date.”

The creation of the BAL represents one of the most dramatic steps in the NBA’s ongoing globalization efforts, an initiative that already has taken the league to China and India in significant fashion, and has created expanded ambitions for Europe.