The Basketball Africa League (BAL) has announced Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Rabat (Morocco) and either Monastir or Tunis (Tunisia) as the host cities for the inaugural BAL regular season, whilst Kigali (Rwanda) will be the host city for the first-ever BAL Final Four and BAL Final.
Additionally, the BAL announced that Nike and the Jordan Brand will be the exclusive outfitter of the new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa and scheduled to begin play in March 2020.
The announcements were made by BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall during a reception at the Musée des Civilisations Noires in Dakar in the presence of FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis, FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bilé, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum, along with current and former NBA and WNBA players.
“Today’s announcements mark another important milestone as we head into what will be a historic first season for the Basketball Africa League,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “We now have seven great host cities where we will play and our first partnership with a world-class outfitter.”
Beginning in March 2020, the six cities will host a regular season that will feature 12 teams divided into two conferences, with each conference playing in three cities. The regular season will see the 12 teams play five games each for a total of 30 games, with the top three teams in each conference qualifying for the play-offs. The six playoff teams – the “Super 6” – will play in a round-robin format to determine the four teams that will advance to the BAL Final Four and BAL Final in Kigali, Rwanda in late-spring 2020. The BAL Final Four and BAL Final will be single-elimination games.
Nike and the Jordan Brand will outfit the league’s 12 teams with official game uniforms, warm-up apparel, socks and practice gear, with six teams featured in Nike and the other six teams in Jordan Brand. The collaboration with Nike and the Jordan Brand marks the BAL’s first partnership.
The announcement about the NBA and FIBA’s launch of the BAL, which would mark the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America, was made at the NBA All-Star 2019 Africa Luncheon in Charlotte, North Carolina in February.