The International Basketball Federation (Fiba) and National Basketball Association (NBA) have named the 12 clubs that will compete in the inaugural season of their Basketball Africa League (BAL).
The new competition will tip off on March 13 at the Dakar Arena in Senegal. Champions from national leagues in six countries – Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia – were guaranteed representation in the inaugural BAL season.
The remaining six teams, which come from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda, secured their participation through BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by Fiba Africa across the continent in late 2019.
The 12 competing teams are: GSP (Algeria), Petro de Luanda (Angola), FAP (Cameroon), Zamalek (Egypt), GNBC (Madagascar), AS Police (Mali), AS Salé (Morocco), Ferroviàrio de Maputo (Mozambique), Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria), Patriots (Rwanda, AS Douanes (Senegal) and Union Sportive Monastirienne (Tunisia).
BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall said: “These teams have earned the opportunity to represent their respective countries and will establish the BAL as a world-class product that entertains fans of all ages when the season tips off March 13.”
The BAL builds on the foundation of club competitions Fiba has organised in Africa and marks the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside North America. The inaugural BAL regular season will take place in Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Monastir (Tunisia) and Salé (Morocco). Kigali (Rwanda) will host the first-ever BAL Playoffs and Finals.
The 12 teams will be divided into two conferences, with each conference playing in three cities. Each team will play five games in the regular season, facing every team in its conference once. The top four teams in each conference will qualify for the single-elimination playoffs in Kigali.
The League was formed in February 2019, with its host cities and first sponsor, Nike and the Jordan Brand, being announced in July. Saturday’s event saw Nike and Jordan Brand, the BAL’s exclusive on-court outfitter, unveil the official BAL uniforms.
Nike and Jordan Brand will outfit the league’s 12 teams with official game uniforms, warmup apparel, socks and practice gear, with six teams featured in Nike and the other six teams in Jordan Brand.