The Basketball Africa League have unveiled their logo ahead of the start of their regular season on March 2020. The league is the NBA’s collaboration with FIBA to operate a league outside of North America, which is a first.
The league’s scouts, coaches, and executives from about twenty different African nations, descended on the the official practice facility of the Brooklyn Nets, New York. Where a contingent of fifty-six players from around the world were present to showcase their skill in a bid to land on a Basketball Africa League roster.
Basketball Africa League President Amadou Gallo Fall alluded to the need for a competitive league on African soil as a critical one. He believes African talent shouldn’t just be for export, but rather they should start in a homegrown league and showcase their talents.
The league will have twelve teams competing from March 2020, after the qualifying rounds.
On the 15th of October 2019, the qualifying rounds for the debut season began, with at least thirty-two teams from thirty-two African countries participating. The first round of qualifying ran from October 15 to November 3. Teams were divided into six groups with the top two of each group, in total 12 teams, advancing to the next round. An additional four teams will be invited to compete in the “Elite Sixteen”, the second round of qualifying.
As of the 17th of December, nine teams have already secured their spots for the inaugural Basketball Africa League in March, and three more teams will follow suit by the end of this week in Kigali, Rwanda, where the second round of qualifying is wrapping up.
Each of the BAL’s 12 teams will have a 16-man roster (12 active and four inactive), at least eight of whom should be citizens of their respective teams’ home country and up to four of whom can be from other countries. Each team can have a maximum of two players from outside of Africa. This is meant to help greatly in keeping the essence of the NBA and FIBA which is to promote the game in African and make it viable for the players.
Games during the regular season will be hosted in Cairo; Dakar, Senegal; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Rabat, Morocco and Monastir, Tunisia. Kigali, Rwanda, will host the first-ever BAL Finals.