It was yet another mesmerizing evening at Rwanda’s Kigali Arena, as President Paul Kagame unveiled the new Basketball Africa League logo.
The 10,000 capacity Kigali Arena has become Africa’s new entertainment home – mostly the Africa Basketball League (BAL).
The new logo, which features the silhouette of a basketball player taking a jump shot on a vibrant green, yellow, red and royal blue
background, celebrates the Pan-African footprint of the league, Africa’s diversity and the continent’s rich basketball heritage.
Standing right at the Center circle of the Basketball court with his feet stretched around the Half-court line inside the Kigali Arena, President Kagame addressed thousands of jubilant fans and top government officials as well Basketball legends.
He said the log signifies that Basketball is coming home for Africans with now a new value added to the African talent.
“Basketball Africa League, what it produces is now a process where value is added to African talent. Processed here, developed here and then in the end exported with the highest value,” Kagame said.
He paid tribute to the National Basketball Association (NBA) and International Basketball Federation for partnering with Rwanda to develop the sport.
“I want to start by thanking the NBA and FIBA for this partnership. We are happy as Rwanda to be in partnership with this effort. NBA and FIBA coming together with partnership across Africa starting here in Rwanda,” Kagame, who has always expressed support for sports said.
Comparing the new Basketball development project on the continent to minerals, Kagame said, ” I want to compare it with the fact that Africa produces minerals of very high value, gem-stones, all produced here then exported in their raw form, processed outside, added value and then brought back to Africa,”
“But this Basketball Africa League, what it produces is now a process where value is added to African talent. Processed here, developed here and then in the end exported with the highest value.”
The head of State said that the unveiling of the new logo is a long and meaningful journey.
“This is a long and meaningful journey and I want to thank all those who have made it possible to happen and for allowing Rwanda to be a partner,” he said.
The Basketball Africa League (BAL) – a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa and scheduled to begin play in March 2020.
The announcement of the logo was announced by BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall prior to the BAL qualifier game at the Kigali Arena between Patriots BBC and Gendarmerie National Basketball Club, in which Patriots sensationally bounced back from a 13-point third-quarter deficit to beat Madagascar side 94-88 in overtime.
At the event that ended towards midnight, President Kagame was accompanied by Rwanda’s Sports Minister Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, FIBA Africa and BAL Board President Anibal Manave, FIBA Africa Executive Director Alphonse Bilé, two-time NBA All-Star and South Sudan Basketball Federation President Luol Deng, and former NBA player Olumide Oyedeji from Nigeria.
Top government officials also showed up for the colourful event.
Photos: Muzogeye Plaisir and more here