Centurion - NBA Africa and the Royal Bafokeng Sports (RBS) expanded their long-term youth development partnership, it was announced on Thursday.
The expanded partnership will see the 12th year of the Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme reach more than 20 000 boys and girls from 44 schools across the Royal Bafokeng Nation and Greater Rustenburg Region in South Africa.
The Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme, which launched in 2011 with 36 boys and girls teams from 18 middle and high schools across all five regions of the Royal Bafokeng Nation, has reached more than 100,000 youth over the past 12 years through basketball development and youth engagement initiatives.
“Basketball has been much more than a sport among the Bafokeng youth,” said Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, the 36th king of the Royal Bafokeng Nation.
“Through the support of the NBA and RBS, the programme has helped develop and inspire top athletes and coaching staffs, create educational opportunities, and grow the sport not only for the RBN community, but across the continent. The RBN welcomes the continued partnership and success with the NBA.”
NBA Africa chief executive Victor Williams said: “Launched more than 10 years ago, the Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme was the NBA’s first youth development programme on the continent.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with RBS and look forward to continuing to use the transformative power of basketball to inspire more boys and girls in the North West Province in the years to come.”
The NBA has a long history in Africa and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg in 2010.
Since then, the league’s efforts on the continent have focused on increasing access to basketball and the NBA through social responsibility, grassroots and elite development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, NBA Africa Games and the launch of the Basketball Africa League (BAL).
The BAL’s second season tipped off earlier this month in Dakar, Senegal.
South Africa’s Cape Town Tigers will make their BAL debut during the league’s Nile Conference group phase at Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo, Egypt, from April 9 to 19.