JOHANNESBURG AND NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today the full rosters for NBA Africa Game 2017, the league’s second game in Africa, which will take place Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tickets are available for fans by visiting ticketpro.co.za.
NBA Africa Game 2017, which will take place following the 15th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa, will once again feature a Team Africa vs. Team World format and will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA). The game will air live at 5:00 pm CAT in sub-Saharan Africa on Kwesé’s TV, Internet and mobile platforms, including Kwesé Free Sports, Kwesé Sports, Kwesé partners Soweto TV (South Africa), Canal+ Afrique (Francophone Africa) and other select free-to-air channels, Kwesesports.com, and the Kwesé app.
Team Africa, comprised of players born in Africa and second-generation African players, will be led by team captains Luol Deng (Los Angeles Lakers; South Sudan) and Thabo Sefolosha (most recently with the Atlanta Hawks; Switzerland; parent from South Africa). Deng and Sefolosha will be joined by Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Clint Capela (Houston Rockets; Switzerland; parents from Angola and Congo), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal; BWB Africa 2009), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011)*, Serge Ibaka (Toronto Raptors; Congo), Luc Mbah a Moute (most recently with the LA Clippers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2003), Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks; Tunisia), Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers; U.S.; parent from Nigeria) and Dennis Schroder (Hawks; Germany; parent from The Gambia).
Team World, comprised of players from the rest of the world, will be led by team captains Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks; Germany) and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets; U.S.). Nowitzki and Walker will be joined by Leandro Barbosa (most recently with the Phoenix Suns; Brazil), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics; U.S.), Wilson Chandler (Nuggets; U.S.), DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans; U.S.), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons; U.S.), Courtney Lee (New York Knicks; U.S.), Kyle Lowry (Raptors; U.S.), CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.) and Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks; Latvia).
Also participating in the game will be NBA head coaches Alvin Gentry (Pelicans), Michael Malone (Nuggets) and Erik Spoelstra (Miami Heat), assistant coaches David Adelman (Magic), Pat Delany (Hornets), BJ Johnson (Rockets), Sidney Lowe (Washington Wizards), Jamahl Mosley (Mavericks), Patrick Mutombo (Raptors) and Lloyd Pierce (76ers), Heat assistant GM Adam Simon, Raptors President Masai Ujiri (Nigeria), athletic trainers Keith Jones (Rockets) and Ed Lacerte (Celtics), as well as NBA referees James Capers and Zach Zarba.
NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will attend the game along with NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), 14-year NBA veteran and NBPA Secretary-Treasurer James Jones, former NBA players Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Elton Brand, Brian Cardinal and Lionel Simmons, and former WNBA player Rushia Brown.
The sold-out NBA Africa Game 2015, the first NBA game on the continent, took place Aug. 1, 2015 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg. There have been more than 70 current or former NBA players from Africa or with ties to the continent, including NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) and Dikembe Mutombo, both of whom played in NBA Africa Game 2015.
*Will not play
Executive and Player Quotes:
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: “Basketball is witnessing explosive growth in Africa. Our return to Johannesburg this summer is part of the league’s continued commitment to bring the authentic NBA experience to fans around the world. I would like to thank the NBPA for their participation and for being terrific partners on this game and surrounding events.”
NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts: “NBA players are among the most popular athletes in the world, and we’re excited to continue the game’s global growth with this second game in Africa. Our players remain committed to growing the game on the continent, and this showcase will continue to build on the positive momentum we generated with the historic first game in 2015.”
NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall: “NBA Africa Game 2015 was a resounding success, and we are grateful for the support of the players and team personnel who participated. While we are investing more than ever in grassroots programming and in delivering locally relevant content to our fans across the continent, there is no substitute for live NBA games. I hope fans from throughout Africa will join us in Johannesburg or on Kwesé’s platforms on August 5 to see some of the NBA’s best players compete on African soil.”
Econet Founder and Executive Chairman Strive Masiyiwa: “Kwesé is fast becoming the destination of choice for sports fanatics across sub-Saharan Africa, and the ability to exclusively carry NBA content, including NBA Africa Game 2017, on all Kwesé platforms is indicative of the strides we are making in the sports and broadcast industries.”
Orlando Magic forward/center Bismack Biyombo: “It was an honor and privilege to play in the first NBA game in Africa in 2015. I’m looking forward to another great game in August.”
Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng: “I’m thrilled to be coming back to Johannesburg to lead Team Africa alongside Thabo. The first NBA Africa Game in 2015 was a lot of fun, and it will be a privilege to play in front of our African fans once again.”
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum: “I’ve heard so many great things from players around the league who traveled to South Africa in 2015 for the first NBA Africa Game and Basketball without Borders. I can’t wait to suit up for Team World in Johannesburg this summer.”
Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay: “Returning to Africa to play in the second NBA game on the continent is a dream come true. I’m thankful for the opportunity to participate and look forward to leading Team Africa to a win on August 5.”
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki: “I’m really excited to represent Team World in the second NBA Africa Game this summer. I also look forward to returning to South Africa after taking part in the Basketball without Borders Africa camp eight years ago. It’s great to see how the game is growing across the continent, and I’m honored to be a part of this historic event.”
Guard/forward Thabo Sefolosha (most recently with the Atlanta Hawks): “Having South African roots, it’s a dream come true to return to South Africa to play in an NBA game. There are so many talented African players in the league, and it will be an honor to lead them on August 5 in Johannesburg.”
Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker: “I can’t wait to make my first trip to Africa and join Dirk in leading Team World. Playing in an NBA game in Africa will be a special moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
About the NBA
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA G League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 49 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. NBA rosters at the start of the 2016-17 season featured a record 113 international players from 41 countries and territories. NBA Digital’s assets include NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA App and NBA LEAGUE PASS. The NBA has created one of the largest social media communities in the world, with more than 1.3 billion likes and followers globally across all league, team, and player platforms. Through NBA Cares, the league addresses important social issues by working with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes.
About the NBPA
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is the union for current professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Established in 1954, the NBPA’s mission is to ensure that the rights of NBA players are protected and that every conceivable measure is taken to assist players in maximizing their opportunities and achieving their goals — on and off the court.
The NBPA advocates on behalf of the best interest of all NBA players, including the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, the filing of grievances on behalf of the players, or counseling players on benefits, educational and post-NBA career opportunities.
In addition, the NBPA provides a forum for players to participate in union activities — from executive leadership roles, to team representative positions, global community outreach initiatives. The NBPA offers each NBA player the opportunity to get involved in the democratic institution that was created for, continues to exist for and is run by them.