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Basketball Africa League Unveils Team Rosters Ahead Of Sunday’s Tip-Off

Austin Okon-Akpan  
Updated May 15, 2021
Roster for Nigeria’s representative, Rivers Hoopers. PHOTO CREDIT: Africa Basketball League (BAL)

 

The Basketball Africa League (BAL) have unveiled the rosters of the 12 participating teams ahead of the league’s inaugural season, which tips off on Sunday, May 16 at 4:00 p.m. CAT / 10 a.m. ET at the Kigali Arena in Rwanda.

The BAL rosters, subject to change, feature 154 players from 24 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the U.S.

Each of the 12 teams, which come from 12 African countries, will have up to 13 players (12 active and one inactive), at least nine of whom are citizens in their respective team’s home country and up to four of whom are from other countries, with no more than two players per team from outside of Africa.

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Ben Uzoh, who joined Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers, is poised to become the first former NBA player to play in the BAL, having played for the New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Toronto Raptors from 2010-12.  He was also a member of the Nigeria Senior Men’s National Team at the 2016 Olympics, FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, and FIBA AfroBasket in 2013 and 2015.

Nine players bring NBA G League experience to the BAL’s first season: Brandon Jay Costner and Prince Ibeh (Rwanda’s Patriots BBC); Myck Kabongo and Demarcus Holland (Mozambique’s Ferroviàrio de Maputo), Ibrahima Thomas (Mali’s AS Police); Uzoh, Taren Sullivan and Robert Christopher Daniels (Rivers Hoopers); and Ater Majok (Tunisia’s US Monastir).  Twenty-one BAL players have NCAA Division 1 experience, with 11 of the 12 teams featuring at least one former Division 1 player.

BAL teams feature a combined 19 players who previously participated in Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa, the NBA, and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program for top prospects from across the continent, including Mohab Yasser Abdelaty Abdallatif (Egypt’s Zamalek).  Abdullatif is poised to graduate from NBA Academy Africa this year and becomes the first NBA Academy prospect to play in the BAL.