Rwanda’s Kigali steals the thunder from six African cities to be declared the host of the much-awaited NBA’S Africa League finals

A basket ball court inside Kigali Arena.
  • On Tuesday, BAL unveiled host cities for its inaugural season, with Kigali, Rwanda, named as the host city for the first semi-final and championship games.
  • The BAL, featuring 12 club teams from across Africa, is set to begin play in March 2020.
  • Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Rabat, Morocco and a Tunisian city, Tunis or Monastir, were announced as the sites for BAL regular-season games.

The magnificent sports and events facility, Kigali Arena is set to host the much-awaited NBA-backed Basketball Africa League (BAL) finals.

On Tuesday, BAL unveiled host cities for its inaugural season, with Kigali, Rwanda, named as the host city for the first semi-final and championship games.

Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Rabat, Morocco and a Tunisian city, Tunis or Monastir, were announced as the sites for BAL regular-season games.

"Today's announcements mark another important milestone as we head into what will be a historic first season," AFP reported BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall as saying.

In February, NBA announced its first collaboration to operate a league outside North America and roped in world governing body International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to set up Basketball Africa League. Despite having talented athletes, Basketball is still growing in Africa and the African league hopes to grow the game by providing financial support and resources for training of African players, coaches and referees.

The BAL, featuring 12 club teams from across Africa, is set to begin play in March 2020. The 12 teams will be divided into two six-team conferences, each conference playing games in three of the six host cities.

Each team will play five regular-season games, with the top three clubs in each conference advancing to the playoffs.

The "Super Six" will then play a round-robin format to determine the BAL Final Four that advance to Kigali in late spring 2020 for the single-game elimination semi-finals and final.

Located just outside the Amahoro National Stadium in Remera, Kigali Arena, with a 10,000-seat capacity, is among the top 10 indoor sports venues on the continent, and the biggest in the Eastern Africa region.

The BAL also announced Nike and the Jordan Brand would each provide the official uniforms and gear for six of the clubs in the league's first business partnership.

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