Rising talent fuelling continental basketball 🏀🌍

Rising talent fuelling continental basketball 🏀🌍

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A global camp for the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders features rising stars from the continent.

Bonface Orucho, bird story agency


Seven African basketball prospects are among the 40 high-school-age prospects who will participate in the eighth annual Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Global Camp.


Their participation and inclusion at the BWB Global Camp underscores the abundance of basketball talent on the continent, ready and eager to continue Africa’s legacy as a sports talent hub.


A press statement by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on February 9 announced the names of the 40 youngsters who will be part of the camp that will be held between February 16 and 18 at the Mojo Up Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Indiana.


The seven African prospects from Angola, Mali, Senegal, and South Sudan will join the camp with prospects from the Americas, Asia, and Europe, positioning themselves on the global stage and potentially earning spots in international basketball clubs.


According to the statement, they will “participate in athletic testing, movement efficiency, skill development stations, shooting and skills competitions, life skills seminars and 5-on-5 games under the guidance of current and former NBA and WNBA players, legends and coaches, including Joakim Noah and Detlef Schrempf.”


Other trainers lined up to guide and test the prospects include several members of the NBA Coaching Development Program (CDP), which assists former players who are looking to transition into the coaching ranks.


Some of these include WNBA champion Cynthia Cooper, former NBA players Joey Dorsey and Flip Murray, former NBA G League player Wayne Blackshear, and Seattle Storm assistant coach and former WNBA player Ebony Hoffman. 


Beyond the training experience, the prospects will be exposed to some of the biggest sports sponsors, another significant opportunity for the prospects to potentially strike critical sponsorship deals.


Notably, the BWB Global 2024 will be supported by Nike, a global partner of BWB since 2002, which will outfit participants with Nike apparel and footwear, and Gatorade, which will keep players and coaches hydrated throughout the camp.


The following is a list of the prospects that will represent Africa at the BWB Global Camp:


Aginaldo Neto, Angola


The 17-year-old guard is an NBA Africa Academy player participating in the Africa Champions Club's ‘ROAD TO BAL 2024’. Neto is one of the five prospects featured in NBA Africa’s new docuseries, ‘Born & Bred,’ released in November 2023, showcasing the remarkable talents of five African prospects.


Ladji Coulibaly, Mali


The center player for the Spanish club, Basquet Manresa, is 17 years old. He made a name for himself at the 2021 FIBA U16 African Championship and at the 2022 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup. According to FIBA, the Malian international has an average of 10.2 points in the two tournaments.


Mahamadoun Tiefing Diawara, Mali


At 17 years old, Diawara is a professional basketball player for Orange 1 Bassano, an Italian basketball club. With an all-time average point total of 8.0, the youngster is a promising basketball talent.


Chouaybou Keita, Mali


Yet another Malian, Keita, plays for CB Zentro, a Spanish club where he has showcased great skill and talent. In the past seven matches, Keita has accumulated an average of 9.7 points, according to FIBA. He also played in the 2021 U16 Africa Championship and the 2022 U17 World Cup.


Assane Mandian, Senegal


The 17-year-old guard plays for the NBA Academy Africa team and is one of the prospects who have benefited from NBA Academy Africa. The NBA opened a new elite basketball training center in Saly, Senegal, in 2018.


Mouhamadou Moustapha Thiam, Senegal


Currently, a student at the DME Academy in Florida, USA, 17-year-old Thiam is a promising basketball star already being eyed by the University of Central Florida basketball team, the UCF Knights, with which he has a verbal commitment to play next year when he leaves the DME Academy.  


Khaman Maluach, South Sudan


The center player for the Senegal NBA Academy Africa in 2021. He was named MVP of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders Africa camp in August 2023, hosted in South Africa. Later that month, he joined the South Sudan senior national team and became the third-youngest player in FIBA World Cup history.


According to the NBA, the Basketball Without Borders program has reached more than 4,300 participants from 140 countries and territories since 2001, with 114 former campers advancing to the NBA or WNBA.  The NBA and FIBA have staged 72 BWB camps in 48 cities across 33 countries on six continents.


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