Lionel Hollins, Billy King to Feature in African Exhibition Game

On August 1 the NBA will play an exhibition game at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa, the first game to be held on the African continent. Both the NBA and players association sponsor the event placing Team Africa vs. Team World. The format follows a similar one to the Rising Stars Challenge held at All-Star weekend in the Barclays Center where Team World faced Team USA.

Though no Nets players will play in the game, Lionel Hollins and Billy King will represent the franchise as coach and general manager, respectively. Hollins will coach Team World which includes Boston Celtics’ Marcus Smart and Evan Turner, Chicago Bulls’ Pau Gasol, Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul, Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol, Orlando Magic’s Nikola Vucevic and Washington Wizard’s Bradley Beal. Paul leads the team as captain.

Head Coach of the Celtics Brad Stevens will assist Hollins with San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford acting as the team’s general manger and Keon Weise of the Orlando Magic being the team’s athletic trainer.

Alongside Masai Ujiri, General Manager of the Toronto Raptors King will serve as General Manager of Team Africa. Team Africa consists of Charlotte Hornets’ Nicolas Batum, Golden State Warriors’ Festus Ezeli, Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, Minnesota Timberwolves’ Gorgui Dieng, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Serge Ibaka, Portland Trailblazers’ Al-Farouq Aminu, Raptors’ Bismack Biyombo, Sacramento Kings’ Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and San Antonio Spurs’ Boris Diaw. Deng captains the side of players who are either first-generation African or second-generation descendants of families from Africa. Due to injury Ibaka will not play.

Other executives, general managers, coaches and former players participating in the event include Commissioner Adam Silver, Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks, Head Coach of the Spurs Gregg Popovich, Associate Head Coach of the Thunder Monty Williams, Trainer of the Wizards Eric Waters, NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo and NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon.

In 2010 the league founded an office in South Africa, hoping to grow fandom in Africa and establish/grow interest in the association across the continent.

The game will occur following the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development program Basketball without Border Africa, an initiative impacting 1,000 campers from 31 African countries since 2003.

Throughout the week of the game the NBA members will aid the local community by partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa and the SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa to create places where families and their children can live, learn or play. On July 30 the NBA congregation will assemble at the Boys & Girls club at Protea Glen for a basketball court dedication and clinic presented by NIKE. For the third consecutive year, on July 31, players will visit SOS Children’s Village Ennerdale, which builds families for abandoned and/or orphaned children.

Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation will also garner support from the game. ESPN will broadcast the game live in the US at 9:00 a.m. ET and SuperSport will do the same in Africa at 3:00 p.m. CAT.


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