Just one more thing to anticipate in 2017; the US’ National Basketball Association (NBA) is expected to open an NBA academy in Africa next year.
The move by NBA is seen as necessary to locate new talents who may be found outside the US and also to extend the reach of the league to new territories. The new NBA academy is meant to take in both male and female talents, from the age of 13 and up.
Thies, Senegal is the proposed site for the new NBA academy and the situation of an academy in Africa will follow projects executed this year in both China and Australia. The BBC talked to Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA vice-president and managing director for Africa, who said that “preliminary trials are being held in Senegal over the next couple of days, as part of the first phase of finding new African talent.”
Also speaking of the strong business reasons that the NBA has for opening an African academy, Fall said;
“We are no different than any other global company – Microsoft, GE – when they want the best programme, the best engineers, they invest in the training and development.”
He also said that talents who do not manage to play in the NBA and make it big time, essentially becoming household names, will not be left behind;
“The unique thing is young players who are… lucky enough to be selected will be nurtured holistically and they will still have the opportunity to pursue a college degree, no matter whether they’re talented enough to make into the NBA straight out of the academy.
“Let’s say somebody gets hurt, we’re still going to make sure that they continue their journey to success just through education.”
That sounds like something that young Africans can look forward to in a quest to further their dreams.