KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO – NBA Africa and Groupe Africa Development Solutions (ADS), a multinational company that designs and implements creative and innovative solutions for African business, today unveiled a newly-renovated and solar-powered basketball court in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The court, which is located in Kinshasa’s Limete 7eme, is fitted with ADS’ Solektra solar-powered lighting system that will allow thousands of players from Kinshasa and surrounding communities to play late into the night.
The court was unveiled at a ceremony by DRC Minister of Youth and Sports Francois Kabulo Mwana Kabulo; NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams; ADS Founder and CEO Samba Bathily; Mayor of Limete Nathalie Alamba Liwoza Feza; and two-time NBA champion Didier Mbenga (DRC). In celebration of the new court, NBA Africa and ADS will host a Jr. NBA tournament for more than 200 youth at the court on Sunday, July 2 and Monday, July 3.
“Kinshasa is a city with a rich basketball tradition, as some of the NBA’s all-time greats from Africa, including Dikembe Mutombo, Didier Mbenga, Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo, started their basketball journeys right here at Limete 7eme,” said Williams. “ADS shares our vision of making the game more accessible across Africa, and refurbishing this solar-powered court in such an iconic location will provide more youth from the surrounding communities with a safe space to play the game at any time of the day.”
“ADS Group’s collaboration with NBA Africa is a testament to our longstanding commitment to the development of youth and sports on the continent, after several other initiatives in West and Central Africa,” said Bathily. “Our dedication to empowering African communities and fostering positive change has been an integral part of our mission since the inception of ADS. We firmly believe that investing in the youth of the DRC is an investment in a brighter future for the country. By unveiling this solar-powered basketball court in Kinshasa, we aim to provide a safe and inclusive space for the youth to pursue their passion for basketball, develop their skills, and unleash their full potential.”
“This is where it all started for me, and I’m excited that this newly-renovated court will provide more opportunities for Congolese youth to learn and play the game as I did,” said Mbenga. “I hope they take full advantage of this beautiful new space and continue to develop as players and as leaders in their communities.”
ADS Group remains dedicated to utilizing innovative solutions to drive sustainable development in African nations, and their collaboration with NBA Africa underscores their commitment to empowering the youth, promoting sportsmanship, and nurturing talent in the DRC.
Mbenga is a two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers (2009-2010). A native of Kinshasa, he played for the Dallas Mavericks (2004-07), Golden State Warriors (2007-08), Lakers (2008-10) and New Orleans Pelicans (2010-11) during his seven-year NBA career.
The Jr. NBA is the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls that teaches the fundamental skills and core values of the game: teamwork, respect, determination, and community. The Jr. NBA is focused on helping grow and improve the youth basketball experience at the grassroots level for players, coaches and parents. During the 2021-22 season, the Jr. NBA reached 41.4 million youth in 160 countries through a network of affiliated youth basketball organizations as well as in-person and online events and clinics. Jr. NBA programming has directly reached tens of thousands of boys and girls across 16 African countries.
About Africa Development Solutions
ADS Group (Africa Development Solutions) is a pan-African multinational corporation with a strong economic, social, and cultural impact. The Group and its subsidiaries design and implement innovative and sustainable solutions for African businesses and organizations while investing in various strategic sectors of the local economy. Currently, ADS Group operates in seven sectors: finance, energy, real estate and hospitality, agriculture, telecommunications, healthcare, and education. To learn more, visit: https://adsglobalcorp.com/en.
About NBA Africa
NBA Africa is a standalone entity formed in May 2021 that conducts the NBA’s business in Africa, including the Basketball Africa League (BAL) and the league’s entities in Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; and Lagos, Nigeria. The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010. The league’s efforts on the continent have focused on increasing access to basketball and the NBA through youth and elite development, social responsibility, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games, an NBA Store, the BAL, and more. Last year, NBA Africa reached more than eight million youth across the continent through basketball development, life-skills programming and social media engagement.
NBA games and programming are available in all 54 African countries, and the NBA has hosted three sold-out exhibition games on the continent since 2015. The BAL, a partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and NBA Africa, is a professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa that that completed its third season in May 2023. Fans can follow @NBA_Africa and @theBAL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.