Basketball Africa League teams draft 12 NBA Academy Africa prospects as part of second “BAL Elevate” program
DAKAR, SENEGAL – The Basketball Africa League (BAL) today announced the 12 NBA Academy Africa prospects from seven African countries who will join the 12 BAL teams for the league’s 2023 season as part of the second edition of the “BAL Elevate” program. The 2023 BAL season will tip off on Saturday, March 11 at the Dakar Arena in Dakar, Senegal, and will once again feature a total of 38 games in Dakar; Cairo, Egypt and Kigali, Rwanda over three months.
The second BAL Elevate Draft took place virtually on Friday, Feb. 24, with each BAL Team President selecting one NBA Academy Africa prospect to join their respective teams for the 2023 BAL season. BAL Elevate, which was launched prior to the 2022 BAL season, provides an opportunity for top prospects from NBA Academy Africa, an elite basketball training center in Saly, Senegal, to showcase their talent on a global stage and help their respective teams compete for the BAL Championship.
“The inaugural group of BAL Elevate players who joined our league from NBA Academy Africa last season not only showcased their talent and potential but also contributed greatly to the improved play in season two,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “We have received terrific feedback from the teams and coaches who worked with the players, some of whom went on to sign with NBA G League Ignite or commit to NCAA Division I schools in the U.S. We look forward to watching this year’s class contribute to their respective teams and continue their development on a global stage.”
The BAL Elevate player pool was made up of prospects who currently attend NBA Academy Africa. The draft order was determined by a random draw of the 12 BAL teams. BAL Elevate players will not share in the prize money awarded to the top BAL teams at the end of the season to preserve their amateur status. Below are the BAL Elevate players selected by each team:
|Team||BAL Elevate Player||Hometown/Country||Age||Height||Position|
|ABC Fighters (Côte d’Ivoire)||Joy Ighovodja||Abeokuta, Nigeria||18||6’3||PG|
|AS Douanes (Senegal)||Khaman Madit Maluach||Juba City, South Sudan||16||7’1||F|
|Kwara Falcons (Nigeria)||Khadim Rassoul Mboup||Dakar, Senegal||16||6’9||F|
|REG (Rwanda)||Ulrich Kamka Chomche||Bafang, Cameroon||17||6’11||F|
|Stade Malien (Mali)||Rueben Abuchi Chinyelu||Lagos, Nigeria||19||6’10||F|
|US Monastir (Tunisia)||Churchill Abass||Benin City, Nigeria||18||6’8||F|
|Al Ahly (Egypt)||Dramane Sayon Camara||Bamako, Mali||19||6’5||G|
|Cape Town Tigers (South Africa)||Parby Kabamba Musongela||Kinshasa, DR Congo||17||6’5||G|
|City Oilers (Uganda)||Segun Ezekiel Obe||Ikeja, Nigeria||17||6’8||F|
|CFV Beira (Mozambique)||Paul Kabenga Mbiya||Kinshasa, DR Congo||18||6’11||F|
|Petro de Luanda (Angola)||Seifeldin Hendaway||Cairo, Egypt||17||6’7||G|
|SLAC (Guinea)||Mabilmawut Kon Mabil||Juba City, South Sudan||18||6’9||F|
Several players who participated in the inaugural BAL Elevate program last year went on to sign with professional teams or commit to NCAA Division I schools in the U.S.: Babacar Sane (Dakar University Club; Senegal) signed with NBA G League Ignite, Rueben Chinyelu (Mozambique’s CFV Beira; Nigeria) committed to Washington State University; Joy Ighovodjia (Rwanda Energy Group; Nigeria) committed to the Oral Roberts University; and Emmanuel Okorafor (Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Espoir Fukash; Nigeria) committed to the University of Louisville.
The 2023 BAL season opener will feature AS Douanes (Senegal) taking on Abidjan Basket Club (Côte d’Ivoire) on March 11 at 4:00 p.m. GMT. US Monastir (Tunisia) will begin its title defense on Sunday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. GMT against Stade Malien (Mali). Fans can purchase early bird tickets at a preferential rate by visiting BAL.NBA.com.
Complete BAL team rosters and additional details about the 2023 BAL season will be announced in the coming days.
About the BAL
The Basketball Africa League (BAL), a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the NBA, is a professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa that completed its second season in May 2022. Headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, the BAL builds on the foundation of club competitions FIBA Africa has organized across the continent and marks the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside North America. Fans can follow the BAL (@theBAL) on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube and register their interest in receiving more information at BAL.NBA.com.
About NBA Academy Africa
NBA Academy is a year-round elite basketball development program that provides top high school-age prospects from outside the U.S. with a holistic approach to player development and a predictable pathway to maximize their potential. In 2018, NBA Academy Africa opened a new facility in Saly, Senegal, which features two indoor basketball courts, a multipurpose activity center, a weight room, conference rooms, dormitories and educational facilities. Since NBA Academy Africa opened in 2017, 28 male and female participants have committed to NCAA Division I schools in the U.S. or have signed up with NBA G League Ignite.