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Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried will take part in the NBA’s first ever Africa game, an exhibition contest August 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The game will feature Team Africa, captained by South Sudan native Luol Deng of the Miami Heat and composed of current and second generation African players, versus Team World, captained by Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Also representing Team Africa is Republic of Congo native Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Gorgui Deng of the Minnesota Timberwolves who was born and raised in Senegal. Alongside Paul, Team World will feature Faried and Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.
NBA executives, coaches, general managers and legends will also participate, including: 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins, Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King, NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo, NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon, San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens, Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri and (former) New Orleans Pelicans Coach Monty Williams.
The NBA’s presence in Africa has grown considerably over the last decade and NBA commissioner Adam Silver seems to be interested in continuing that trend.
“The NBA has worked hard to grow the game of basketball in Africa, and I am excited to take this next step of playing our first game on the continent,” said Silver. “Our players have been tremendous partners in this effort, and all of us look forward to sharing the authentic NBA experience and the values of our game with fans in Africa.”
The game will coincide with the 13th edition of Basketball without Borders Africa, a program started in 2003 that has reached and impacted the lives of over 1,000 campers across the continent.
NBA personnel will also participate in various community outreach programs in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
This news comes just a few weeks after the Nuggets Wilson Chandler traveled to Senegal where he took part in the SEED (Sports for Education and Economic Development) Project’s 13th annual Hoop Forum, an event in Dakar, Senegal that brings together top non-profits, corporations and individuals that are using sport as a tool for development across Africa.
The full rosters for the NBA’s Africa game will be announced at a later date.