Connect with us

NBA

Adam Silver announces business entity NBA Africa, backed by former star players

Published

on

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the formation of a new business investment entity called NBA Africa on Monday that includes investments from former star players.

NBA Africa will conduct the league’s business endeavors in Africa, including the new Basketball Africa League (BAL). Investors will come from African businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations as well as former NBA greats Dikembe Mutombo and Grant Hill.

The NBA hopes that the funding will contribute to the growth of the BAL, help expand the league’s presence in priority African markets and Africa’s basketball ecosystem, and improve the league’s engagement with players and fans through initiatives such as the launch of additional NBA academies and social responsibility initiatives.

“With the expertise, resources and shared vision, the immensely successful investors and NBA legends, we believe that basketball in Africa can become a top sport over the next decade,” Silver said during a virtual press conference.

Silver said NBA Africa’s enterprise value, a measure of a company’s total value, is already nearly $1 billion, and he hopes it can become a “top brand” in Africa. Another hope for NBA Africa is to join the BAL’s efforts to improve the livelihoods of African youth and families, including gender equality and economic inclusion efforts.

The NBA currently has 55 players that either are from Africa or have family ties there, Silver said. The NBA opened its first office in Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa, and debuted the 12-team BAL earlier this month.

Along with Mutombo and Hill, former NBA standouts Junior Bridgeman, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah are also investors. African investors include Nigerian Babatunde “Tunde” Folawiyo, Chairman and CEO of Yinka Folawiyo Group and Helios Fairfax Partners Corporation, led by Nigerian Tope Lawani, co-CEO of HFP and co-founder and managing partner of Helios Investment Partners.

Lawani and Folawiyo will also join the NBA Africa Board of Directors, which is led by NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams and includes Silver and NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum.

“There is nothing more important to me than helping young people grow into leaders,” Mutombo said during the press conference. “And the NBA has helped me and many other Africans create an incredible platform to make a difference. Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world, and Africa youth just need the opportunity and support to achieve great things. The new NBA Africa is the transformative next step to do just that.”

Source link

NBA

Atlanta Hawks’ Onyeka Okongwu out about 6 months after shoulder surgery, sources say

Published

on

Atlanta Hawks center Onyeka Okongwu — the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft — underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder on Wednesday, and he will miss approximately six months, sources told ESPN.

Okongwu’s role grew as the season wore on for the Hawks, but a lingering injury beginning in May resulted in the need for the procedure. Renowned surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Kerlan-Jobe performed the procedure on Okongwu in Los Angeles, sources said.

Okongwu, 20, is expected to make a full recovery, sources said.

Training camps start in late September, and the 82-game regular season for 2021-22 commences in mid-October.

Okongwu played 50 regular-season games for the Hawks and averaged 9.2 minutes in 18 playoff games in the Hawks’ run to the Eastern Conference finals. Okongwu showed significant promise in earning more minutes behind starter Clint Capela as the season wore on.

The Hawks drafted Okongwu out of the University of Southern California, where he was a first-team All-Pac 12 performer in his one season of college basketball.

Source link

Continue Reading

NBA

Gains sizable in NBA Finals ratings from last year, but fourth-lowest average since 1997

Published

on

NEW YORK — Television ratings for the NBA Finals and playoffs posted sizable increases over last year. But that was the only good news for the NBA as far as viewer numbers.

According to Nielsen, the NBA and ABC on Wednesday, the six-game series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns averaged 9.91 million viewers, a 32% increase over last year’s series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, which also went six games. However, the average makes it the fourth-lowest since 1997.

The Lakers-Heat series — which was played in October in the Orlando bubble after the coronavirus pandemic pushed the season back five months — averaged only 7.45 million.

San Antonio‘s 2007 four-game sweep of Cleveland (9.29 million) and the Spurs’ six-game victory over New Jersey in 2003 (9.83 million) are the other series to average fewer than 10 million since 1997.

The numbers were also down 34.5% compared to two years ago, when the TorontoGolden State series averaged 15.14 million.

Milwaukee’s 105-98 victory over Phoenix on Tuesday night attracted the most viewers in the series, averaging 12.52 million. The audience peaked between 11:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. EDT at 16.54 million. Only two games in the series averaged 10 million or more.

This year’s playoffs averaged 4.25 million, up 35% over last year but down 18% compared to 2019.

Source link

Continue Reading

NBA

Two shootings leave 3 wounded in Milwaukee during celebration of Bucks’ NBA championship

Published

on

MILWAUKEE — Two shootings in downtown Milwaukee early Wednesday as crowds celebrated the Milwaukee Bucks‘ first NBA championship in 50 years left three people wounded, police said.

The shootings both happened about 12:42 a.m. at two locations near Water Street, police said in a statement. TV station WISN had a reporter broadcasting from the scene when multiple shots were heard, prompting people to flee.

The shootings were across the Milwaukee River from Fiserv Forum, where the game was played, and the Deer District plaza, where a crowd of roughly 65,000 had gathered for an outdoor watch party. The area where the shootings took place is on a street heavily populated with bars and restaurants.

During Tuesday night’s game, a police officer was trampled by people trying to get into the Deer District watch party after the area had reached capacity, Milwaukee police Capt. Jesús Ortiz said in an email. The officer didn’t sustain any major injuries but reported being in general pain, Ortiz said.

Following one of the shootings, a 22-year-old man had non-life-threatening injuries, police said, and a suspect was in custody.

In the other shooting, which police said happened simultaneously, a 19-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man had non-life-threatening injuries. One person was in custody and other suspects were being sought, police said.

The two shootings, which were in the immediate area of the celebrations, likely were what was heard during the TV coverage, Ortiz said.

The celebrations came after Giannis Antetokounmpo capped one of the greatest NBA Finals ever with 50 points as Milwaukee beat the Phoenix Suns 105-98 to win the series 4-2.

Fans who packed the streets surrounding the arena had cheered and danced all night as they watched the game on giant video screens, and the massive crowd erupted in jubilation as the game ended. A few fans climbed light poles in the plaza and others jumped off a bridge into the nearby river as fireworks exploded above the arena.

Joy Smith, 50, of Milwaukee, danced after the final buzzer. “Milwaukee is underrated, but we proved to the world we could do it,” she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Another fan, Sabrina Holland, 37, of Milwaukee, called it “epic.” She said: “Everyone who’s anyone is here.“

Before the game, and at the city’s request, Gov. Tony Evers mobilized 150 National Guard members to help in Milwaukee with traffic control and public safety.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending