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The Basketball Africa League, a boon for talents and sports infrastructure

Match de la ligue africaine de basketball   -  
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The Africa Basketball League (BAL) is in its fourth season. Now a must-attend event on the continental basketball scene, interest in the league continues to grow among lovers of the sport.

It's a boon for the continent's talents, such as Thierry Darlan, a young Central African who graduated from the NBA Academy in Dakar. 

_"It's really good for African basketball. As you can see, there's a lot of people here, and they're talking about it everywhere._Even the Americans I played for say that basketball in Africa is evolving a lot more because there are prospects arriving, there's Kaman, there's El Weish and lots of others. So it's good exposure for young Africans," says the Bangui SC player.

But beyond shaping the dreams of these young basketball players, the BAL gives another dimension to African basketball. The players involved are almost unanimous that the competition is revolutionising the sport in several ways.

By way of example, the African champion, winner of the Basketball Africa League, made a good showing at the 2023 Intercontinental Cup. It won the competition for the first time in its history. 

"Our national teams who took part in the World Cup also showed a high level of basketball for the first time. And this is part of our expectations of the Basketball Africa League. This is what we expect from the Africa Basketball League," explains Hesham Elhariri, President of FIBA Africa Zone V.

Yet the revolution set in motion by the BAL goes beyond the championship. As well as providing support to the federations, the League is also making a difference in terms of infrastructure, in addition to its economic contribution. Last year alone, it brought in more than 3 billion CFA francs (5 million dollars) to Senegal through transport, hotels, shows and many other sectors.

"Today, African talent can be identified on the continent, develop on the continent and play professionally without having to leave the continent. And if we look, for example, at the partnership with the Rwanda Development Board, which has been renewed for 5 years, it means that there is a real impact on the economy and on that country's objective of promoting Rwanda as a destination. We want to do the same thing in Senegal and South Africa. We want to do the same thing in Senegal and South Africa," explains Amadou Gallo Fall, President of the African Basketball League.

Africanews correspondent >Wahany Sambo reports that the Basketball Africa League is today more than sport. "It's social, it's training, but above all it's opportunities for young Africans to express their talent and open themselves up to the world", says Sambo.

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