With the best part of 20 NBA athletes set to take part in the NBA's first ever match in Africa this weekend (August 1st), Commissioner Adam Silver has hinted that there may be plenty more to come.
Johannesburg's Ellis Park Arena will serve venue for the exhibition this weekend as Chris Paul captains Team World against a Luol Deng-lead Team Africa. With an expected capacity crowd of 4,000 people in attendance it's fair to say the football-crazed population is beginning to appreciate something new.
Africa appears to be the target area for the basketball organisation at present and with Hakeem Olajuwon, a Nigerian-born first-round pick of the 1984 Draft, serving as ambassador for the trip there is no doubt that the game's presence will surely grow.
The trip to South Africa will serve as a pleasant off-season soother for the recovering athletes. But as the years go on and the game continues to develop throughout the continent, perhaps the NBA may yet invest in further pre-season regularities.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver (per ESPN):
"We would want a larger, more modern arena for a regular or preseason game here...these things take time, but I'm very confident that in the not-too-distant future we will be playing, to begin with, a preseason game on the continent of Africa"
With an exciting NBA dream in store for the African nations, here's hoping that the match this weekend lives up to the hype.
Coached by Lionel Hollins (Brooklyn Nets)
Chris Paul (LA Clippers)
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies)
Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls)
Jeff Green (Memphis Grizzlies)
Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics)
Evan Turner (Boston Celtics)
Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic)
Coached by Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs)
Luol Deng (Miami Heat)
Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland Trail Blazers)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets)
Bismack Biyombo (Toronto Raptors)
Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs)
Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Festus Ezeli (Golden State Warriors)
Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Luc Mbah a Moute (Sacramento Kings)