NBA to stage first ever game in Africa

Luol Deng will captain the Team Africa side. Credit: PA

The NBA will stage its first game in Africa this August when Ellis Park in Johannesburg puts on an exhibition fixture.

Basketball's premier league will field Team Africa and Team World teams in the August 1 game, the NBA announced in a statement on Wednesday.

The Team Africa side will be captained by South Sudan-born Miami Heat star Luol Deng, who as a boy moved with his family to London and later played for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics. Los Angeles Clippers player Chris Paul will skipper Team World.

Deng said: "I am extremely proud to be a part of the NBA's first game in Africa. Coming from South Sudan and having participated in the Basketball without Borders Africa camps in Johannesburg previously, I am truly honoured to be part of this historic event."

The NBA said the match would benefit a number of South African charities, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

The league said over 35 players from Africa have played in its teams.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: "The NBA has worked hard to grow the game of basketball in Africa, and I am excited to take this next step of playing our first game on the continent.

Our players have been tremendous partners in this effort, and all of us look forward to sharing the authentic NBA experience and the values of our game with fans in Africa."