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Cameroon’s Chomche breaks new ground in the NBA

Cameroon’s Chomche breaks new ground in the NBA

CAMEROON’S Ulrich Chomche from NBA Academy Africa has become the first prospect across all three of the league’s NBA Academies to be drafted directly out of an NBA Academy after he was selected 57th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2024 NBA draft. He also becomes the first player to be drafted after participating in the Basketball Africa League (BAL). According to Silalei Shani, former captain of Kenya’s women's national basketball team and sports director at IMG Kenya, enlisting Ulrich Chomche means something positive is happening in basketball courts in Cameroon, which other African countries must take notice of…
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The BAL 4: Kalahari Conference wrap

The BAL 4: Kalahari Conference wrap

ALL eyes in African basketball turned to Pretoria, South Africa for the Kalahari Conference of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) for a spot in the BAL playoffs in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2024. FUS Rabat, hailing from Morocco, stole the show - winning the Kalahari Conference in front a sold out crowd at the SunBet Arena - finishing with a 3-1 record. Angolan representatives Petro de Luanda emerged as the second place finishers in the group, also clinching their berth to the BAL playoffs, winning 2 games and suffering 2 defeats. South African representatives and Hometown heroes the Cape Town…
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Rising talent fuelling continental basketball

Rising talent fuelling continental basketball

SEVEN African basketball prospects are among the 40 high-school-age prospects who will participate in the eighth annual Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global Camp. Their participation and inclusion at the BWB Global Camp underscores the abundance of basketball talent on the continent, ready and eager to continue Africa’s legacy as a sports talent hub. A press statement by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on February 9 announced the names of the 40 youngsters who will be part of the camp that will be held between February 16 and 18 at the Mojo Up Sports Complex…
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South Africa to host ‘Kalahari Conference’ of the BAL – African basketball round-up

South Africa to host ‘Kalahari Conference’ of the BAL – African basketball round-up

FOR the first time in its history, Central African basketball team Bangui Sporting Club has qualified for the Basketball Africa League after playing a series of back-to-back narrowly won games at the West Division Elite 16 BAL qualifiers in Cameroon from October 31 to November 5. Led by trailblazing Australian coach Liz Mills and defensive specialist Jeff Sparrow, Bangui took down FUS Rabat in the last two seconds of the final game, 93-90. Less than 24 hours before they squeezed past Al Ahly Benghazi 87-85, also in the final seconds of that game, the two wins came off the back…
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The World of African Basketball

The World of African Basketball

FORMER Kenya women's basketball team captain and international commentator Silalei Shani provides all the latest moves and grooves in this week's The World of African Basketball. After applying for American citizenship in a move that saddened many Cameroonians, Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has come in for criticism again with the announcement that he would be playing for the United States at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Embiid, who holds three passports, made his decision for family reasons and to follow his dream of winning an Olympic medal. “It was difficult. Obviously, I like all three options. I love my country…But…
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African Basketball News: Senegal season wraps, South Sudan ranked top in Africa and Mills heads to Central Africa

African Basketball News: Senegal season wraps, South Sudan ranked top in Africa and Mills heads to Central Africa

WITH the Road to BAL qualifier fixtures recently released, the conversation moves to transfers - including technical teams and players. One notable move is the appointment of trailblazing Australian basketball coach, Liz Mills, to lead Central African Republic’s Bangui Sporting Club. Mills, who has worked with African men’s basketball for many years, including a stint with Ivory Coast’s ABC Fighters, who she led to the 2023 BAL quarterfinals, expressed her excitement at the new challenge. “It’s all about creating the right environment to be successful and I think that starts at the top…creating an honest, trustworthy, and transparent environment, that’s…
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From Mali to Florida – the amazing story of an African basketball star

From Mali to Florida – the amazing story of an African basketball star

SILALEI SHANI, BIRD STORY AGENCY WHEN Malian national and Arizona men’s basketball centre, Oumar Ballo, was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2022 Maui Invitational in late November, the powerful, 7-feet-tall player made it clear he was Africa's next big name in basketball. After averaging 21 points and 10.7 rebounds and a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds in the title game vs. Creighton, Ballo garnering plenty of attention. The junior from Mali is no new face to African basketball’s highlight reels, however,. Ballo played for Mali at the 2017 FIBA Under-16 African Championship in Mauritius, averaging 14 points…
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African basketball: Calls for new narrative in Nigeria, NBA draft action

African basketball: Calls for new narrative in Nigeria, NBA draft action

AFRICA continued to play its role as a growing hub for NBA talent in June, with 8 African players drafted in this year’s NBA Draft 2022. The event, on June 23, had wide African representation. Two players who have garnered a lot of attention are Christian Koloko of Cameroon and Khalifa Diop of Senegal. Arizona centre Koloko was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 33rd pick. He is the first Cameroonian player drafted into the NBA since Pascal Siakam, in 2016. Gran Canaria (Spain) forward Diop was selected 39th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers becoming the first Senegalese to…
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From bombs, bullets to hoops

From bombs, bullets to hoops

BOITUMELO RANTAO THE odds of survival in a country devastated by civil war are slim. The odds of making it overseas, away from a civil war, are even slimmer. The odds of making it into the best basketball league in the world as a native of South Sudan? Near impossible.  But defying the odds is what turns good teams into great ones. That is the inspirational story of Manute Bol, who survived the bombs and bullets of a war in South Sudan and made it into the US National Basketball Association (NBA), the biggest and richest league in the sport.…
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Meet Africa’s Mr Basketball

Meet Africa’s Mr Basketball

BOITUMELO RANTAO FOR the majority of basketball players in Africa, their only hope of creating a career out of basketball is to seek a change of scenery and travel overseas. For others, basketball can be used to better the current situation by seizing opportunities to better schools that might have not been available before.  Football was known as the clear-cut favourite as Senegal’s No.1 sport, but the growing presence of basketball could not be ignored. Though hard to find the facilities, and at a time when courts were not readily available.  One youngster had just received a basketball from his…
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