DAKAR, SENEGAL – The Basketball Africa League (BAL) today announced that the league’s expanded fourth season will tip off in March 2024 in South Africa. The 2024 BAL season will feature the top 12 club teams from 12 African countries playing a record 48 games across four African countries – South Africa, Egypt, Senegal and Rwanda – over four months, marking the first BAL games in South Africa and the first time the league will play in four different countries.
Also, for the first time, the 12 teams will be divided into three conferences of four teams each. Each conference will play a 12-game group phase during which each team will face the other three teams in its conference twice. The inaugural Kalahari Conference group phase will take place in March, followed by the Nile Conference group phase in April and the Sahara Conference group phase in May. The top two teams from each conference and the top two third-place teams from across the three conferences will travel to Rwanda for four seeding games followed by an eight-game single-elimination Playoffs and Finals from May – June.
The BAL will announce the host cities, venues, dates and information about how to purchase tickets for the 2024 BAL season in the coming weeks. Beginning today, fans can register their interest in tickets to games in all four markets at BAL.NBA.com.
The BAL also today announced Afreximbank as an official partner of the 2024 BAL season. The BAL and Afreximbank will collaborate on “BAL Advance,” a new program that aims to support the holistic development of BAL players and teams based on their specific needs, goals, projects and interests. The program will offer players professional development opportunities within the broader sports industry, including in event management, broadcasting, analytics, technology, and more.
“We are thrilled to expand our footprint in the BAL’s fourth season and allow more fans to experience the excitement of this historic league, including the first BAL games in South Africa where there is already strong affinity for the game,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “We look forward to building on the momentum of our first three seasons and to continuing to deliver a world-class basketball and entertainment product that represents Africa proudly on the global stage.”
“We are really pleased that season 4 of the BAL is coming soon, and it has been extended to more African countries in all four corners of the continent,” said FIBA Africa President Anibal Manave. “The BAL has had a very positive impact on players and the sport of basketball in Africa. The upcoming season promises to deliver even more exciting basketball action for fans to enjoy. As we witness great performances during the Road to BAL qualifying tournament and see more African nations participating, we can eagerly anticipate the thrilling moments that the upcoming BAL season will bring.”
National league champions from 12 African countries will once again qualify for the BAL, including through the Road to the BAL qualifying tournaments conducted by FIBA Africa across the continent from October – November 2023.
For the third consecutive season, the BAL Elevate program will see one NBA Academy Africa prospect join each of the 12 BAL teams. BAL Elevate will once again provide an opportunity for the next generation of African prospects to participate in a professional league, showcase their talent on a global stage, and help their respective teams compete for the 2024 BAL Championship. Over the past two BAL seasons, nine BAL Elevate players contributed to their respective team’s success and went on to qualify for their respective national teams, commit to NCAA Division I schools in the U.S., or sign professional contracts, including with NBA G League Ignite.
Rwanda Development Board, NIKE, Jordan Brand and Wilson will return as BAL Foundational Partners. The league’s roster of world-class marketing partners also includes AB InBev, Afreximbank, Envol City, Hennessy and RwandAir.
In addition to the games, the BAL will host a series of youth development and social impact programming in all four markets that will engage fans, players, coaches, referees, and the local community, including camps and workshops for young women as part of BAL4HER, the league’s platform for advancing gender equality in the African sports ecosystem. In conjunction with the Playoffs and Finals, the BAL will also host its third Innovation Summit, an annual gathering of African leaders from business, technology, sports, and entertainment, to discuss trends and opportunities for the continued development of basketball on the continent.
On May 27, 2023, Egypt’s Al Ahly defeated Senegal’s AS Douanes 80-65 to win the 2023 BAL Finals, which took place at BK Arena and reached fans in 214 countries and territories in 17 languages. During the 2023 season, the BAL welcomed more than 70,000 fans, guests, league and team personnel, and other stakeholders who came from around the world to experience the games and surrounding activities.