The NBA is teaming up with FIBA to expand basketball in Africa with an intercontinental basketball league. Adam Silver and the NBA announced on Saturday during All-Star Weekend festivities in Charlotte that the Basketball Africa League, or BAL, will start play in 2020.
The NBA and FIBA will set up qualification tournaments later in 2019 to narrow down the dozen teams that will represent African nations — including Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia — that will play in the tournament in 2020. The league stated that no more than two teams will qualify from each country.
As Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated pointed out, the league will work sort of like soccer’s Champions League.