The National Basketball Association (NBA) revealed on Wednesday that the first ever NBA basketball game to be hosted on African soil will take place on August 1 in South Africa.
The Huffington Post explained that the encounter will see Team Africa taking on Team World, with Luol Deng of the Miami Heat and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers confirmed as participants.
CBS Sports states that Deng, who was born in Sudan (in an area which would fall under South Sudan) will lead the African selection, which is to be made up of other basketball players from around the continent and those of African descent, while Paul will captain the side representing the rest of the world.
The game, which is the first of its kind on the African continent, will be played to raise funds for charities, which are yet to be announced. The initiative will be welcome by South African fans of the sport, who will no doubt fill the yet to be named arena when tickets are released.
Releasing statements concerning their excitement about the game, which will be played at the beginning of August, both players are looking forward to the historic showdown.
“I am extremely proud to be a part of the NBA’s first game in Africa,” Deng revealed in a statement, while Paul added, “I cannot wait to contribute to the growth of the game on and off the court.”
Along with the respective captains of the two teams and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the Huffington Post reveals that 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks, NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon, NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will all make the trip to South Africa for the big game.
NBA fans from all over the continent will likely make the trip to Johannesburg for the game, which will no doubt help to expose the NBA brand to an entirely new audience, helping to create new fans in Africa and keep the existing supporters of basketball enticed by some of the game’s top stars.