Voice of America is now the radio broadcast partner of the new 12-team Basketball Africa League, a partnership of the National Basketball Association and the International Basketball Federation.
VOA radio will simulcast BAL broadcasts in English and French and provide play-by-play coverage in Bambara, Kinyarwanda, Wolof, and Portuguese for the games involving teams from Mali, Rwanda, Senegal, Angola, and Mozambique, respectively. The 2021 season tips off May 16 from Kigali Arena in Rwanda, the site of all 26 scheduled BAL games. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the league postponed its original 2020 launch date, as well as its plan to play games across the continent.
“We are excited to extend the NBA's global reach to an even wider African audience,” says Acting VOA Director Yolanda López. "With the influx of more African players in the NBA and through the additional exposure of the African Basketball League, it has truly become a major international amateur and professional sport. VOA is proud to play an important role in this partnership.”
VOA broadcasts will air on more than 30 VOA owned and operated FM radio stations in 16 African countries and will be available to VOA’s extensive network of commercial and public radio stations across Africa. VOA Africa websites in 15 languages will carry game highlights and link to live radio broadcasts in English and French.