KIGALI, RWANDA – The Basketball Africa League (BAL) today announced a series of youth development, community service and business events that will take place during the 2022 BAL Playoffs and Finals, which tip off today at Kigali Arena in Rwanda and will culminate with the second BAL Finals on Saturday, May 28 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. CAT.
Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), New Fortress Energy (NFE), RwandAir and Visit Rwanda will collaborate with the BAL to support events and activations throughout the week. The BAL’s roster of world-class partners includes Foundational Partners NFE, Rwanda Development Board (RDB), NIKE, Jordan Brand and Wilson; and official partners Air Senegal, Attorney General Alliance (AGA) – Africa, Destination Senegal, Envol City and Hennessy.
The single-elimination BAL Playoffs will feature the top eight teams from the league’s Sahara and Nile Conferences group phases hosted in Dakar, Senegal (March 5-15) and Cairo, Egypt (April 9-19), respectively. Tickets for the BAL Playoffs and Finals are on sale now in several categories, including group tickets, premium tickets and standard tickets. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting bal.nba.com/bal-kigali-ticketing.
Below are highlights of the week’s events and activations:
Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD)
The BAL will collaborate with AFD to promote “Alley-Oop Africa,” an original docuseries and awareness campaign for African youth that highlights how sports and athletes can drive positive behavioral change in support of sustainable development, health and gender equality. Twenty boys and girls from seven African countries took part in the recording of the docuseries in March 2022, several of whom will participate in youth development and basketball activities during the BAL Playoffs and Finals. The docuseries will air later this year with additional details and distribution plans to be announced at a later date.
Returning as the Official Airline Partner of the 2022 BAL Playoffs and Finals, RwandAir is facilitating travel to and from Kigali for BAL teams, staff and guests.
BAL Environmental Day of Service
The first BAL Environmental Day of Service projects took place at Umusambi Village in Kigali from May 19-20. Seven BAL teams attended the event, where they explored the Umusambi Village and planted tree seedlings as part of the league’s Three for Trees initiative in partnership with NFE. For every three-pointer made during the BAL season, the BAL and NFE will donate three trees to be planted in the home country of the BAL team with the most made three-pointers throughout the season.
The third BAL4Her Day, in partnership with Visit Rwanda, will take place tomorrow and bring together 50 young women from six local organizations to take part in a workshop and networking session with female leaders from the sports industry focused on building careers in sports. The workshop will include a panel discussion with NBA Vice President and Country Head of Nigeria Gbemisola Abudu and group discussions with 13 females across the sports industry. After the workshop, participants will take part in a networking session with BAL staff before receiving a VIP game-day experience at the Zamalek – S.L.A.C game.
BAL Coaches Clinic
On Sunday, May 22 and Monday, May 23, Indiana Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce and Detroit Pistons assistant coach Bill Bayno will lead a BAL Coaches Clinic for more than 70 basketball coaches from the local community. The clinic will offer tools and strategies to help the coaches enhance their player basketball development curriculum. Coaches who are unable to attend in-person can also join the clinic via Zoom by registering here.
BAL Innovation Summit
The inaugural BAL Innovation Summit in conjunction with Africa Day on Wednesday, May 25 will bring together African leaders from business, entertainment, sports, social entrepreneurship and beyond to discuss the enormous growth opportunities on the continent. The event, which will be held at the Kigali Convention Centre, will highlight the creative identities of Africa through the lens of arts, culture, heritage, business and innovation, and mobilize the individuals who have the power to unlock opportunities and build toward a stronger and more connected Africa of tomorrow.
BAL Elevate Showcase
The inaugural BAL Elevate Showcase will feature top prospects from NBA Academy Africa taking on the U-23 Rwanda National Team at Kigali Arena on Friday, May 27 at 9:30 p.m. CAT. The game, which will showcase the next generation of African players, will air live in Africa on ESPN Africa, Canal + and Visionary TV, in the U.S. on ESPN+, and around the world on NBA TV International. The game will also livestream on the NBA App, NBA.com and NBA.com/BAL.
In the opening game of the 2022 BAL Playoffs, Angola’s Petro de Luanda (4-1) will take on Morocco’s AS Salé (3-2) at 8:30 a.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CAT, followed by Rwanda’s REG (4-1) against Cameroon’s F.A.P (2-3) at noon ET / 6 p.m. CAT. The quarterfinals will continue tomorrow with Tunisia’s US Monastir (4-1) facing South Africa’s Cape Town Tigers (2-3) at 8:30 a.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CAT, followed by defending BAL champion Zamalek of Egypt (5-0) against Guinea’s S.L.A.C (2-3) at noon ET / 6 p.m. CAT.
Winners of the quarterfinal matchups will meet in the semifinals on May 25 for the chance to advance to the 2022 BAL Finals, which will air in Africa on ESPN, Canal+, VisionView TV and Voice of America (VOA) radio, and around the world on American Forces Network (AFN), ESPNews, NBA TV International, Tencent Sports, TSN, the NBA App, NBA.com and NBA.com/BAL.
About the BAL
The Basketball Africa League (BAL), a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the NBA, is a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa. Headquartered in Dakar, Senegal, the BAL builds on the foundation of club competitions FIBA Regional Office Africa has organized in Africa 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.