DAKAR, SENEGAL – The Basketball Africa League (BAL) today announced the rosters of the six teams that will compete in the league’s Sahara Conference group phase from March 11-21 at the Dakar Arena in Senegal, as well as the league’s global broadcast distribution for the 2023 BAL season.
The six teams – defending BAL champion US Monastir (Tunisia), AS Douanes (Senegal), Abidjan Basketball Club (Côte d’Ivoire), Kwara Falcons (Nigeria), Rwanda Energy Group (Rwanda) and Stade Malien (Mali) – collectively feature 78 players from 13 countries across Africa, Europe and the U.S., including eight players with NBA G League experience, 18 former NCAA Division I players, six NBA Academy prospects and 11 former Basketball Without Borders (BWB) campers.
The 2023 BAL season will reach fans in 214 countries and territories in 17 languages through free-to-air and paid TV broadcast partnerships with the African Union of Broadcasting, American Forces Network (AFN), Canal+, ESPN (sub-Saharan Africa), NBA TV, Tencent, TV5 Monde, Visionary TV and Voice of America (VOA), and livestreaming on the NBA App, NBA.com and BAL.NBA.com.
In the season opener, AS Douanes will take on Abidjan Basketball Club at 11 a.m. ET / 4 p.m. GMT on Canal+, ESPN, NBA TV, TV5 Monde, VOA and select free-to-air channels across the continent. The game will also livestream on the NBA App, NBA.com and BAL.NBA.com. Fans can purchase tickets to the 15 Sahara Conference games at BAL.NBA.com.
Each BAL team will have up to 13 players, at least eight of whom are citizens of their respective team’s home country and up to four of whom are from other countries, with no more than two players per team from outside of Africa. As part of the second edition of the BAL Elevate program, one roster spot on each team is reserved for a prospect from NBA Academy Africa, an elite basketball training center in Saly, Senegal, for the top high school-age prospects from across Africa.
Below please find select BAL Sahara Conference player and coach storylines:
• Tunisia native and 2022 All-BAL First Team member Radhouane Slimane will lead US Monastir’s title defense.
• Former University of Maryland star Terrell Stoglin, the BAL’s leading scorer in each of the league’s first two seasons as a member of AS Salé (Morocco), will suit up for AS Douanes for the first time.
• Former University of California, Berkeley guard Jerome Randle, who was the 2009-10 Pac-10 Player of the Year and the 2016-17 MVP of Australia’s National Basketball League, will make his BAL debut for US Monastir.
• Nigeria native and former St. John’s University center Christopher Obekpa, who led NCAA Division I in blocks in the 2012-13 season, will play for Abidjan Basketball Club after representing Guinea’s Seydou Legacy Athlétique Club (S.L.A.C) during the 2022 BAL season.
• Former University of Memphis guard Chris Crawford, who was the 2012-13 Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year, will compete for AS Douanes. Crawford played for S.L.A.C in 2022.
• Former University of Washington forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning, who was a 2010-11 All-Pac-10 selection and previously represented the Great Britain Men’s National Team, will make his BAL debut for AS Douanes.
• Texas Christian University all-time assists leader Don Alex Robinson Jr. will make his BAL debut for Abidjan Basketball Club.
• Abidjan Basketball Club head coach Liz Mills (Australia) returns to the BAL after leading AS Salé to the BAL Playoffs last year, when she became the first woman to coach a BAL team and the first to coach a Moroccan men’s team.
• The Sahara Conference features 11 players who previously participated in BWB, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program for top prospects from around the world that has seen nearly 100 former campers advance to the NBA.
Below are the eight former NBA G League players competing in the Sahara Conference group phase:
Below are the 18 former NCAA Division I players competing in the Sahara Conference group phase:
Below are the 11 former BWB Africa campers competing in the Sahara Conference group phase:
Below please find complete details about the 2023 BAL season’s global broadcast distribution:
• Select free-to-air channels across Africa will air BAL games throughout the season with the support of the African Union of Broadcasting.
• AFN, which is distributed to U.S. military bases and ships at sea in 166 countries and territories, will air select games live and on delay throughout the season.
• For the third consecutive season, Canal+ and ESPN will air every BAL game across Francophone and Anglophone countries and territories in sub-Saharan Africa. Canal+ will also produce and distribute original programming about the league, including an eight-episode magazine show “BAL Action.”
• NBA TV will broadcast all 38 games live or on delay in the U.S. and around the world.
• BAL games and programming will be available in China on Tencent Sports.
• TV5 Monde will air select BAL games in Sub-Saharan Africa.
• VOA will broadcast all 38 games across its extensive radio network in Africa, including select games in English, French, Portuguese, Kinyarwanda and Wolof. VOA and the BAL will collaborate on additional programming, including weekly podcasts from Dakar, Cairo and Kigali that will air across VOA and BAL online platforms.
• Visionary TV will air all 38 games on its streaming platform “Vision View TV” in select African countries.
• For the third consecutive season, every BAL game will livestream on the NBA App, NBA.com and BAL.NBA.com.
• FIBA’s digital platform Courtside 1891 will stream BAL highlights, content and “BAL Action.”
The 12 BAL teams have once again been divided into two conferences – the Sahara Conference and the Nile Conference. Each conference will play a 15-game group phase during which each team will face the five other teams in its conference once. The Nile Conference group phase will take place at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo, Egypt, from April 26 – May 6. The top four teams from each conference will qualify for the BAL Playoffs, which will feature a single-elimination tournament and Finals at BK Arena in Rwanda from May 21-27.
Rosters for the six Nile Conference teams will be announced at a later date.
*Rosters are subject to change
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. 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 NBA.com/BAL.