Mbalula to launch basketball league

2013-03-20 12:25

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Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula is set to launch a new South African basketball league.

The sports ministry said today that Mbalula would announce the format of the Basketball National League (BNL) in Johannesburg on Friday.

“The BNL is a professional sport and entertainment business that has been modelled on the highly successful NBA, NBL Australia and the Euro league,” the ministry said.

“It has now been recognised as the pinnacle of professional basketball entertainment in South Africa.”

The plan was to start the three-month league in September, with 158 games to be played between 12 teams in all nine provinces.

Basketball is played in more than 200 countries throughout the globe, according to the ministry, and the world governing body Fiba (Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball, or the International Basketball Federation) has more than 450 million registered participants worldwide.

It is hoped the new competition would contribute towards building a competitive national team and provide aspirant professional players with career opportunities.

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