Tag: Africans in American sports

Nigerian-born Israel Adesanya wins UFC championship in Atlanta

Few gave him a chance, but Nigerian-born Israel Adesanya has beaten Kelvin Gastelum to claim the Interim UFC Middleweight Championship by unanimous decision.

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President of Rwanda makes business pitch a part of NBA All-Star visit to Queen City

Paul Kagame spent the past two decades helping Rwanda overcome a 1994 genocide against the minority ethnic Tutsis that left an estimated 800,000 to 1 million people dead.

Kagame, the president of Rwanda, has embraced social media, eased the cost and hassle for international businesses to invest in the African nation, and looked to South Korea as a model for lifting his nation’s fortunes.

According to his critics, Kagame is yet another African strongman draped in more public relations-friendly clothing who forcefully and violently silences his political opponents.

His sharpest critics include Paul Rusesabagina, of “Hotel Rwanda” fame, who lives in the United States and who told The Washington Post in 2016 he was living outside his home country because he feared for his safety.

What does any of this have to do with Charlotte? Glad you asked. Kagame spent the weekend here, attending the NBA All-Star Game — Rwanda is likely to have one of 12 teams in the newly announced startup league in 2020 that includes significant backing from the NBA — before making a pitch to local business leaders on Monday at The Ballantyne Resort. (NBA Commissioner Adam Silver visited Kagame last year in Rwanda.)

Kagame came at the invitation and urging of Andy Agaba, a native of Uganda and Harvard graduate who runs a nonprofit here that, according to its website, is a Christian economic development organization.

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NBA and FIBA announce plan to launch professional basketball league in Africa

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) on Saturday announced their plan to launch the Basketball Africa League (BAL), a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa.

The BAL will be built on the foundation of current club competitions FIBA is organizing in Africa. Scheduled to begin play in January 2020, the BAL would mark the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America.

The NBA also announced its plan to introduce a re-imagined direct-to-consumer offering of NBA games for fans in Africa by the start of the 2019-20 NBA season. The offering would include new packages, features and localized content, with additional details to be announced at a later date.

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Los Angelese FC forward Latif Blessing gives back to his Ghanaian village

For many Major League Soccer players, the offseason is a much-needed time to rest, travel and relax with family. But for Los Angeles FC forward Latif Blessing, the offseason was a time to focus on his greatest passion — using the sport of soccer to give back to his hometown.

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From Nigeria to Toledo, Richard Olekanma has lived quite a journey

American college football might as well have existed in another universe for University of Toledo senior linebacker Richard Olekanma. Like many kids growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, Olekanma simply was worried about his next opportunity for ice cream, and his athletic aspirations were dominated by the Nigerian national pastime of soccer. The report by BRIAN BUCKEY in The Blade.

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