NBA players at African World Cup qualifiers; Basketball Without Borders in Egypt and Majok goes “home” – this week in African basketball

Brancou Badio attacks the basket at an earlier window of qualifiers. Photo Courtesy: FIBA Africa

Senegal, Nigeria and Angola bring in their best for the 4 th window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers as the competition gets stiffer; Egypt hosts Basketball Without Borders Africa for the first time in the camp’s history and the BAL’s defensive player of the year, Ater Majok, signs with Al Riyadi and brings his talents back “home”.

By Silalei Shani, bird story agency

With the 4th window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers taking place from August 26-28 , teams have dug deep into their selection of players around the world to make sure teams put forth their best effort.

After a disappointing performance in the 3rd window to place them 5th place in Group F, Senegal have brought back the dynamic Brancou Badio. Badio, who currently plays for BAXI Manresa in Spain, will be joined by Khalifa Diop -who was recently drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers – and Amar Sylla.

Angola, who are 2-2 in Group E, have managed to bring in the Houston Rockets’ Bruno Fernando, as they strive to qualify for their sixth World Cup. The 6’9 Angolan forward believes he can bring a lot to the table despite not playing for the national team in six years.

“I am looking forward to be able to be on the court, and make an impact on both ends of the floor. Just do things to help us win the games. We are in a situation we desperately need to win those games. I am just trying to apply things that I learned throughout the years to the floor to help me and my teammates to succeed,” shared Fernando, who was drafted by the NBA in 2019 after playing for Maryland University. He will be expected to lead the charge with former U-18 teammate Childe Dundao.

Nigeria are also 2-2 in Group E with Angola and have called upon the Phoenix Suns’ JoshOkogie to give them a stronger offensive arsenal against the tough teams in their group (Cote d’Ivoire, Angola and Cabo Verde). Okogie last played for Nigeria at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and it will be his first time playing in a Nigerian jersey on the continent of Africa. All games can be streamed on the website Courtside 1891.

The 18th edition of the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa Camp heads to Egypt this year and will be held at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo. It is the first time that the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will host the camp in Egypt, with the event bringing together more than 60 of the top male and female players on the continent aged 18 and below. The kids get the opportunity to learn directly from current and former NBA, WNBA and FIBA players, legends and coaches as well take part in life skills, leadership development and community service programming.

“We are delighted to host BWB for the first time in North Africa and Egypt,” said Egyptian Basketball Federation President, Magdy Abo Frekha. Abo Frekha noted Egypt’s ability to host major basketball events, sharing the following on social media:

“In 2022, Cairo has hosted the FIBA Intercontinental Cup, Basketball Africa League, and now BWB, which gives us the feeling that basketball in Egypt is growing and flourishing.”

Gregg Popovich leads a life skills session at the 2015 Basketball Without Borders Camp in South Africa. Photo Courtesy: Basketball Without Borders
  • FIBA and the NBA have hosted 65 BWB camps in 30 countries since the program’s launch in 2001 with major NBA players like Joel Embiid and more recently Christian Koloko having participated in the past.

The Basketball Africa League (BAL) Defensive player of the year, Ater Majok, just signed with the Lebanese club team Sporting Al Riyadi Beirut. The Lebanese-South Sudanese International, who plays for Lebanon internationally brings his talent back “home” – much to delight of many of his fans. Coming off a 10.6ppg, 10.5rpg, 3.6bpg stat sheet in his last season in Venezuela’s SPG league, the 6’11 Center helped lead US Monastir to their first championship in the past edition of the BAL where he averaged 13.6ppg, 10.9rbg and 2.5bpg in just 8 games.

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