(Reuters) - The National Basketball Association on Monday cut the ribbon on a new training centre in Saly, Senegal, where it hopes to develop a new generation of African players for the league.
The facility, which features two indoor courts and a weight room in addition to dormitories and educational facilities, will be the primary training location for male and female prospects from across the continent, the league said.
The centre is part of NBA Academy Africa, which has seen three of its graduates commit to play at Division 1 colleges in the U.S. since it opened last year.
“We are thrilled to open this world class new venue in Saly for NBA Academy Africa prospects,” said Amadou Gallo Fall, the NBA’s vice president and managing director for Africa.
“This facility will provide aspiring players from across the continent with state-of-the-art courts and training equipment, under the tutelage of our NBA coaches and our world class academic staff,” he said.
“This facility, and the enabling environment around it, will help uphold our commitment to a holistic approach to player development and providing our elite African student athletes with the tools to succeed on and off the court.”
The NBA Academy Africa is operated in partnership with the SEED Project (Sports for Education and Economic Development), a non-profit organisation that uses basketball to engage youth in academic, athletic and leadership programs.
Since October 2016, NBA Academies have been launched in Australia, India, Mexico and multiple cities in China.
Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Ian Ransom