Amadou Gallo Fall picked as first president of Basketball Africa League

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NEW YORK (AP) — Amadou Gallo Fall is the first president of the Basketball Africa League, and Anibal Manave has been tabbed as the inaugural president of the board for the new league.

The NBA and FIBA made the announcements Tuesday. Fall has been with the NBA since 2010, most recently as its vice president and managing director for Africa. Manave has been a member of FIBA’s Central Board.

The NBA announced in February that it was collaborating with FIBA to start a league in Africa. The 12-team league is scheduled to begin play next year.

“Amadou’s efforts to grow basketball and the NBA’s business across Africa have been extraordinary, and he is an ideal choice to lead the Basketball Africa League,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum in a statement.  “This historic initiative will not only further enhance the game in Africa but also provide new opportunities in media, technology and infrastructure on the continent.”

Fall is a native of Senegal and has helped oversee the NBA’s growth in Africa, such as the execution of three sold-out Africa Games, the Basketball Without Borders programs there and The NBA Academy Africa – which opened in 2017. Manave is a native of Mozambique and is a former player, coach and commissioner in his homeland.

“It’s definitely great for the continent, and every African player being able to have that,” Toronto forward Pascal Siakam, a native of Cameroon, said Tuesday. “They have the NBA Academy and things like that, just growing the game in Africa. We can all just be proud of that.”