NEW YORK AND JOHANNESBURG,– The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) announced today that Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets; U.S.), Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks; Germany), Thabo Sefolosha (Atlanta Hawks; Switzerland; parent from South Africa) and Luol Deng (Los Angeles Lakers; South Sudan) will serve as team captains for NBA Africa Game 2017.
“I can’t wait to make my first trip to Africa and join Dirk in leading Team World,” said Walker. “Playing in an NBA game in Africa will be a special moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Walker, a 2017 NBA All-Star, along with Nowitzki, a 13-time NBA All-Star and 2011 NBA Champion, will co-captain Team World. Deng, a two-time NBA All-Star and Team Africa captain at NBA Africa Game 2015, and Sefolosha, an 11-year NBA veteran whose father was born in South Africa, will lead Team Africa.
NBA Africa Game 2017, which will take place following the 15th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa, will once again feature a Team Africa vs. Team World format and will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa (SOSCVSA). The game will air live in sub-Saharan Africa on Kwesé’s TV, Internet and mobile platforms, including Kwesé Free Sports, Kwesé Sports, select free-to-air channels, Kwesesports.com, and the Kwesé app.
In February, the NBA and NBPA announced that Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; Democratic Republic of the Congo) will play for Team Africa, and that CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.) will play for Team World. Full rosters of players, coaches and legends will be announced at a later date.
The sold-out NBA Africa Game 2015, the first NBA game on the continent, took place Aug. 1, 2015 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg. There have been more than 70 current or former NBA players from Africa or with ties to the continent, including NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), both of whom played in NBA Africa Game 2015.