NBA Africa intensifies women accessibility to basketball


The National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa has hosted its first all-girls Junior NBA clinic in the country to increase women’s accessibility to the game of basketball.

The event coincided with the Vice President of the United States of America (USA) Kamala Harris, and Second Gentleman of USA, Douglas Emhoff’s, first visit to the country.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of NBA Africa, Victor Williams, the association believes that every young individual in Africa, passionate about basketball, should the potential to fulfil their talents; hence the initiative is to create more opportunities for young people, especially women and girls, to participate in the sport.

Mr. Williams further elaborated that with a strong partnership with key institutions in the field of basketball, such as the Ministry of Sports and other stakeholders, will give impetus to grow the game in schools, coupled with the presence of infrastructure and equipment will cement Ghana’s participation, qualification and representation at top basketball competitions across the globe.

“We believe that through partnership with the ministry and other stakeholders to grow the game in schools, or at the grassroots level to support with infrastructure and equipment will lead the foundation for Ghanaian players to regularly make it to the NBA and WMBA and for Ghana to be represented at the top basketball competitions around the world,” he said.

Mr. Emhoff stressed that women’s participation in sports plays a critical role in addressing gender inequality since it boosts their confidence, self –esteem, and provides the courage for them to be whoever they aspire to be.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, commended the efforts of NBA Africa in accelerating basketball in the country, and maintained that the ministry intends to create opportunities for both basketball leaders and coaches to participate in NBA programmes.

Speaking on the performance of the national basketball team, he explained that with renewed efforts by all stakeholders in the country, a path to basketball development will be attained.

Responding to a question on the ministry’s role in supporting basketball clubs, the Minister urged stakeholders in the sport to reach out to the ministry to identify their challenges, and the possible support system that can be offered them.

The event, held at the Trust Sports Emporium in Accra and organised by Charter House, featured 60 girls aged 18 and younger with a life skills seminar led by 2003 Women’s National Basketball champion, Astou Ndiaye, who expressed her excitement about the event, adding that the initiative by NBA Africa serves as an avenue to inspire them to be hopeful about the future.

“I was on the same bench like them with the coaches from Senegal just chasing the same dreams. Since I made it, any of them is capable of excelling also,” she said.

Ms. Ndiaye emphasised that in the absence of a system in African countries where sports education is linked with the national educational system, events such as the all-girls clinic is important to draw the attention of authorities and private-public partnership on the significance of merging the discipline in the educational curriculum.

NBA Africa is a standalone entity formed in May 2021 that conducts the NBA’s business in Africa, including the Basketball Africa League (BAL) and the league’s entities in Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; and Lagos – Nigeria.

The all-girls clinic builds on NBA Africa’s previous basketball camps and clinics in Ghana which have featured appearances by current and former NBA players including former NBA player and Olympian Pops Mensah-Bonsu and others.

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