By MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – NATIONAL Basketball Association (NBA) stars are reveling at the success of the second NBA Africa Game played in South Africa this past weekend.
Team World displayed some exhilarating counter-attacking basketball as they prevailed 108-97 against “hosts” Team Africa at a sold-out Ticket Pro Dome north of Johannesburg.
It was the second successive defeat for Team Africa after a 97-101 setback at the Ellis Park Arena, also in Johannesburg, in 2015.Team Africa captain and Los Angeles Lakers star Luol Ajou Deng, was not deterred by the outcome, tweeting, “I’m very thankful to have the chance to come back every summer with the NBA to grow the game in Africa!”
The Sudanese-born British professional, a two-time NBA All-Star and Most Valuable Player (MVP) at NBA Africa 2015, added, “This game has taken me to a lot of places but I’m so glad that it brings me back home.”
The match, and the continent, has a lasting impression on Team World and Boston Celtics baller, Jaylen Brown.
“South Africa, it was a pleasure,” he gloated.Indiana Pacers’ Victor Oladipo of Nigerian descent was named MVP for his 28 points and five assists albeit on a losing effort.Team Africa, comprised of players born in Africa and second-generation African players.
These included Oladipo Thabo Sefolosha (Switzerland; parent from South Africa). Deng and Sefolosha, Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of Congo), Clint Capela (Houston Rockets; Switzerland; parents from Angola and Congo), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal),Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon) and Serge Ibaka (Toronto Raptors; Congo).
Dennis Schroder (Hawks; Germany; parent from Gambia), Luc Mbah a Moute
(Cameroon), Salah Mejri (Dallas Mavericks; Tunisia) and Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets; DRC) also starred.
Team World comprised of players from the rest of the world, led by captains Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks; Germany) and Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets; US).
Brown, Leandro Barbosa (most recently with the Phoenix Suns; Brazil),Wilson Chandler(Nuggets; US), DeMarcus Cousins (New Orleans Pelicans; US),Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons; US), Courtney Lee (New York Knicks; US),Kyle Lowry (Raptors; US), CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers; US) and Kristaps Porzingis (Knicks; Latvia) joined them.
Kwese Sports were the official broadcast and marketing partner of the game.
– CAJ News
NBA Africa Game a thrilling success
By MTHULISI SIBANDA