North American basketball league the NBA has announced that this year’s edition of its Africa Game will take place in the South African city of Pretoria, having initially been planned for Johannesburg.
The game will take place on August 4 at Pretoria’s Sun Arena and will once again feature a Team Africa vs. Team World format.
Johannesburg hosted the NBA Africa Game in 2015 and 2017. In February, the league’s vice-president and managing director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall, said the city had been pencilled in to host this year’s event. The league has now formally announced that nearby Pretoria will host the event instead.
Team Africa will include Joel Embiid and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (pictured) of the Philadelphia 76ers, Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland Trail Blazers), Bismack Biyombo and Evan Fournier (Orlando Magic), Cheick Diallo (New Orleans Pelicans), and Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors.
Team World will feature DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks), Danilo Gallinari (LA Clippers), Rudy Gay (San Antonio Spurs), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks) and Hassan Whiteside (Miami Heat).
The game will take place following the 16th edition of the Basketball Without Borders Africa event and will honour Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 this year, in support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: “We are deeply honoured to be a part of the centennial celebration of President Mandela’s birthday. Our third NBA Africa Game and 16th Basketball Without Borders Africa camp will embody one of the most enduring parts of his legacy, which is the belief that sports have the power to inspire and change the world.”
National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) executive director Michele Roberts added: “With origins from all over the world, our players understand the global reach of the sport of basketball and remain committed to making an impact on the continent through this third Africa Game. We look forward to continuing this tradition with the NBA and strengthening the presence of basketball in Africa and around the world.”