WASHINGTON, DC, 29 July 2021 – Former American President Barack Obama has taken on minority ownership of NBA Africa, making him the league’s most high-profile “strategic partner”.
“In Africa basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality and empowerment across the continent,” former president Obama said.
The inaugural session of NBA Africa held last May in Kigali, Rwanda, featuring a dozen teams from as many African countries.
NBA Africa is effectively the Africa branch of the American NBA also known as the National Basketball Association.
The league aims not only at finding, grooming and deploying talent on the continent but also improving social services, including girls’ education, improved livelihoods for young people and access to more rewarding and poverty-curbing youth employment.
Former President Obama will devote a huge amount of his time as “strategic partner” promoting the social program of NBA Africa.
“In this capacity, President Obama will have a minority equity stake in the new venture, which over time he intends to use to fund Obama Foundation youth and leadership programs across Africa,” the NBA said in a statement published Wednesday.
“Even though I didn’t have the talent to play at the highest level, basketball still shaped my life. It taught me how to work hard, how to compete, how to be part of a team,” President Obama said in a video tweet.
Two years ago, President Obama visited his father’s village in Kenya to inaugurate a basketball court.
“It was clear to all of us that Africans are poised to show the world that they’ve got game,” Obama said of his experience during that visit to Kenya.
Obama is as excellent a non-professional basketball player as they come, dropping three pointers often, as in the video clip below where he drops a three pointer followed by shouting out: “That’s what I do”.