The Basketball Africa League, the new professional league being set up on the continent by the National Basketball Association and Fiba, has scheduled its first-ever player combine for later this week in Brooklyn, New York.
The debut BAL Combine will be held December 4-5 at the Hospital for Special Surgery Training Center, which is the official practice facility of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. The two-day scouting event will feature 50 aspiring players from Africa, the US, and elsewhere around the world. Players will take part in a series of tests, drills, and positional skill development in front of attending scouts, coaches, and executives for the nascent league effort.
P.J. Carlesimo, former NBA and college basketball coach and an assistant on the US’ 1992 “Dream Team,” will serve as the BAL Combine Camp Director. A mix of former NBA and G League players are expected to be among the pool of talent trying out for BAL roster spots.
The debut season of the BAL is slated to begin in March 2020 with 12 teams. Play will happen in Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Rabat (Morocco) and Monastir (Tunisia). Kigali (Rwanda) will host the first-ever BAL Finals.
“Our first BAL Combine will provide teams with the opportunity to evaluate a deeper pool of talent as they fortify their rosters ahead of our first season, which tips off in four months.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this fall that the BAL is “very much a long-term vision of what the NBA become…This is a real shift for us, moving from a programmer distributing games in Africa to somebody doing significant business directly on the ground across the continent.”