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Hope for basketball as NBA finally sets foot in East Africa


Basketball fortunes are bound for exponential growth in East Africa after NBA Africa established an office in Nairobi Kenya.

The NBA Kenya office according a communique ‘will support all of the league’s business and basketball development initiatives in the country’.

NBA Kenya Senior Director and Country Operations Lead Michael Finley will head the newly established office.

This is the NBA Africa’s fifth office on the continent, joining Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Lagos, Nigeria. 

 To mark the opening of the office NBA Africa held a Jr. NBA clinic for 70 boys and girls ages 16 and under in Nairobi, in the presence of five-time NBA champion Ron Harper, NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams, Basketball Africa League President Amadou Gallo Fall, and Finley.  

“The launch of our office in Nairobi reflects the enormous potential for basketball and the NBA in Kenya and across East Africa,” said Williams.  “Basketball is one of the most popular team sports among Kenyan youth, and having a year-round presence on the ground will allow us to work more closely with local stakeholders to further grow the game here and make it more accessible to fans and players across the country.” 

“I have been involved in the Kenyan basketball community for many years and have seen firsthand the passion for the game here,” said Finley.  “I am excited to lead the new office and look forward to growing our footprint in the region and positively impacting communities across the nation by creating new opportunities for youth to play the game and fans to interact with the NBA.” 

“I’m honored to be part of this historic announcement and support the league’s efforts to grow basketball in Kenya and across the continent,” said Harper.  “It has been really special for me to engage with the youth here and teach them what I know.  I have no doubt that the future of basketball in Kenya is extremely bright thanks to the league’s efforts.” 

 A U.S. native, Finley has served as NBA Africa Director of Basketball Business Development for the past five years.  Prior to joining the NBA, he spent more than two decades in a variety of basketball development roles on the continent, with a focus on East Africa. 

 Harper was selected 8th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1986 NBA Draft and went on to win five NBA championships over the course of his 15-year career, including three consecutive titles with the Chicago Bulls (1996-1998) and back-to-back titles with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000 and 2001).

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