NEW YORK AND JOHANNESBURG – The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks; Germany), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets; U.S.), Thabo Sefolosha (Atlanta Hawks; Switzerland; parent from South Africa) and Luol Deng (Los Angeles Lakers; South Sudan) will serve as team captains for NBA Africa Game 2017.
Tickets for the NBA’s second game in Africa taking place Saturday, Aug. 5 at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa will be available for fans Thursday, June 22 at 10:00 am CAT by visiting ticketpro.co.za.
Nowitzki, a 13-time NBA All-Star and 2011 NBA Champion, along with Walker, a 2017 NBA All-Star, will co-captain Team World. Deng, a two-time NBA All-Star and Team Africa captain at NBA Africa Game 2015, and Sefolosha, an 11-year NBA veteran whose father was born in South Africa, will lead Team Africa.
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 in sub-Saharan Africa on Kwesé’s TV, Internet and mobile platforms, including Kwesé Free Sports, Kwesé Sports, select free-to-air channels, Kwesesports.com, and the Kwesé app.
In February, the NBA and NBPA announced that Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; Democratic Republic of the Congo) will play for Team Africa, and that CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.) will play for Team World. Full rosters of players, coaches and legends will be announced at a later date.
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 NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), both of whom played in NBA Africa Game 2015.
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.”
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.”
Atlanta Hawks guard/forward Thabo Sefolosha: “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.”
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.”
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 Development 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 and the NBA App, which achieved record viewership and traffic during the 2015-16 season. 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.