On Thursday, the NBA announced the rosters for its inaugural Africa Game, which will take place at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 1st. Tickets for the 5,000-seat arena have already been sold out. The game will raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children's Villages Association of South Africa, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, as well as strengthen the NBA's connection with a growing market of basketball fans and players on the continent.
Representing Team Africa are a collection of players who either hail from the continent themselves or have African parents: the Trail Blazers' Al-Farouq Aminu (parents from Nigeria), the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (parents from Nigeria), the Hornets' Nicolas Batum (father from Cameroon), the Raptors' Bismack Biyombo (D.R. of the Congo), the Spurs' Boris Diaw (father from Senegal), the Timberwolves' Gorgui Dieng (Senegal), the Warriors' Festus Ezeli (Nigeria), the Kings' Luc Mbah a Moute (Cameroon), and the Thunder's Serge Ibaka (Congo), who will not play due to injury.
Captaining the team will be the Heat's Luol Deng, who was born in South Sudan and had been one of several players gauging potential interest in the game this past season.
The Clippers' Chris Paul will captain Team World, playing alongside the Wizards' Bradley Beal, the Nuggets' Kenneth Faried, the Grizzlies' Marc Gasol and Jeff Green, the Bulls' Pau Gasol, the Celtics' Marcus Smart and Evan Turner, and the Magic's Nikola Vucevic.
The coach for Team World will be the Nets' Lionel Hollins, while Team Africa will be helmed by Gregg Popovich.