The NBA and the International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, are launching a brand new league: the Basketball Africa League.
They made the announcement Saturday and said the new professional league will have 12 teams from countries across Africa. Its first season will start in January of next year.
FIBA Africa's executive director said: "This is a historic day for FIBA Africa and basketball on our continent. We're excited to work closely with the NBA to develop and put in a place a professional league like none that we have ever seen in our region before."
The NBA and FIBA will provide financial support and resources, including "infrastructure investment" and training for players, coaches and referees.
Former President Barack Obama tweeted about the news and said: "Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court."
I’ve always loved basketball because it’s about building a team that’s equal to more than the sum of its parts. Glad to see this expansion into Africa because for a rising continent, this can be about a lot more than what happens on the court. https://t.co/lghcLaUN9a— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) February 16, 2019