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Basketball Africa League coming to South Africa with new format in 2024

BAL will play in four countries for the first time

The 2024 Basketball Africa League season will begin in a new site in Johannesburg in March 2024.

The four-month 2024 BAL season will include national league champions from 12 different African countries playing a record 48 games in Johannesburg; Cairo; Dakar, Senegal; and Kigali, Rwanda. This will mark the first time BAL games will be played in four countries.

“We are thrilled to expand our footprint in the BAL’s fourth season and allow more fans to experience the excitement of this historic league, including the first BAL games in South Africa where there is already strong affinity for the game,” BAL president Amadou Gallo Fall said in a statement. “We look forward to building on the momentum of our first three seasons and to continuing to deliver a world-class basketball and entertainment product that represents Africa proudly on the global stage.”

The 12 BAL teams will be divided into three four-team conferences. The inaugural Kalahari Conference group phase will take place in March in South Africa, followed by the Nile Conference group phase in April in Egypt and the Sahara Conference group phase in May in Senegal. Each conference’s top two teams and the top two third-place teams from across the four conferences will travel to Rwanda for four seeding games followed by an eight-game single-elimination playoffs and Finals from May and June in Kigali. Dates of all games will be determined when teams are finalized.

The 12 teams qualified for the BAL in the Road to the BAL qualifying tournaments led by FIBA Africa across the continent in October and November. For the third consecutive season, the BAL Elevate program will see one NBA Academy Africa prospect join each of the 12 BAL teams. Egypt’s Al Ahly defeated Senegal’s AS Douanes 80-65 to win the 2023 BAL Finals in Kigali. It was watched by fans in 214 countries and territories in 17 languages.

“We are really pleased that season 4 of the BAL is coming soon, and it has been extended to more African countries in all four corners of the continent,” FIBA Africa President Anibal Manave said in a statement. “The BAL has had a very positive impact on players and the sport of basketball in Africa. The upcoming season promises to deliver even more exciting basketball action for fans to enjoy. As we witness great performances during the Road to BAL qualifying tournament and see more African nations participating, we can eagerly anticipate the thrilling moments that the upcoming BAL season will bring.”

Marc J. Spears is the senior NBA writer for Andscape. He used to be able to dunk on you, but he hasn’t been able to in years and his knees still hurt.