The Basketball Africa League (BAL) today announced that the league will host a Combine in Paris, France for aspiring BAL players ahead of the 2023 BAL season, which will tip off Saturday, March 11 in Dakar, Senegal. The two-day scouting event, which will feature 30 players from Africa, Europe, the U.S. and around the world, will take place Sunday, Jan. 15 and Monday, Jan. 16 at The One Ball Training Center in Paris.
The third BAL season will once again feature the top 12 club teams from 12 African countries playing a total of 38 games in Dakar; Cairo, Egypt and Kigali, Rwanda over three months in 2023. Fans can register their interest in tickets at BAL.NBA.com.
The players will take part in anthropometric and athletic testing, positional skill development and 5-on-5 games in front of attending scouts, coaches, and executives from the 12 club teams that have qualified for the 2023 BAL season. 2021 NBA All-Star Game and former Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder will serve as BAL Combine camp director. Joining Snyder’s coaching staff will be 2021 WNBA Champion and Chicago Sky head coach James Wade, French Women’s National Team head coach Jean-Aimé Toupane, former NBA player Ed Davis, French U-18 Men’s National Team head coach Lamine Kébé and French U-20 National Team assistant coach Mehdy Mary.
BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall, FIBA Africa and BAL Board President Anibal Manave, 2011 NBA Champion and BAL Ambassador Ian Mahinmi (France; ties to Benin) and 2012 NBA Champion Ronny Turiaf (France) will also attend and interact with the participants.
“As we continue to grow the BAL into a world-class professional basketball league, our goal is to attract top talent from across Africa and around the world,” said Fall. “The second BAL Combine will allow our teams to evaluate a wider pool of players, including from across the African Diaspora, ahead of what promises to be a supercompetitive 2023 BAL season.”
Each of the 12 BAL teams will have up to 13 players, at least eight of whom will be citizens in their respective team’s home country and up to four of whom can be from other countries, with no more than two players per team from outside of Africa. One roster spot on each team is reserved for an NBA Academy Africa prospect as part of the BAL Elevate program, which will once again provide an opportunity for the next generation of African prospects to participate in a professional league, showcase their talent on a global stage and help their respective teams compete for the 2023 BAL Championship.
During the 2023 BAL season, the 12 club champions will be divided into two conferences. The Sahara Conference will play a 15-game group phase at the Dakar Arena in Dakar from March 11-21, and the Nile Conference will play a 15-game group phase at the Hassan Mostafa Indoor Sports Complex in Cairo from April 26 – May 6. The top four teams from each conference will advance to an eight-game, single elimination Playoffs and Finals at BK Arena in Kigali from May 21-27.
The BAL teams and additional details about the 2023 BAL season will be announced in the coming months.