Barack Obama
**FILE** Former President Barack Obama speaks to students at the University of Illinois where he accepted the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government in Urbana, Illinois, on September 7, 2018. The award is an annual honor given by the university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs to recognize public officials who have made significant contributions in public service. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Former President Barack Obama has partnered with the NBA and International Basketball Federation (FIBAA) to create a new Africa-based league, featuring 12 teams from several countries across the continent.

The Basketball Africa League debuts next year and will include teams from several African countries including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia, according to published reports.

“I’ve always loved basketball because it’s about building a team that’s equal to more than the sum of its parts. Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court,” Obama tweeted Saturday.

The NBA will conduct qualification tournaments later this year.

“The Basketball Africa League is an important next step in our continued development of the game of basketball in Africa,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement Saturday. “Combined with our other programs on the continent, we are committed to using basketball as an economic engine to create new opportunities in sports, media and technology across Africa.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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