[By VICTOR NZE]
Basketball Africa League (BAL), together with producer and distributor Fremantle, award-winning TRUE DETECTIVE producer, Richard Brown and sports marketing company Infront, have teamed up to produce an original documentary series telling the story of the launch and inaugural season of the BAL, a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa tipping off Sunday, May 16 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The series will be directed by South Africa’s leading director Tebogo Malope.
Malope is a South African director who directed Netflix’s first African Original Series, QUEEN SONO. He is currently completing a feature documentary telling the story of Siya Kolisi, the first Black captain of the South African national rugby team.
The BAL, a partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), marks the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America. The first BAL Finals will be held Sunday, May 30.
The landmark documentary series will follow the stories of the players, coaches and teams from across Africa as they prepare for and compete in the first BAL season which comprises 12 teams including, Rivers Hoopers of Nigeria, AS Sale of Morocco, AS Police of Mali, AS Douanes of Senegal, GSP of Algeria and FAP of Cameroun. Others are Petro de Luanda of Angola, GNBC of Madagascar, Patriots of Rwanda, US Monastir of Tunisia, Zamalek of Egypt and Ferroviario Maputo of Mozambique.
This powerful series will spotlight the momentum and ambition behind the pan-African basketball league and the individuals who have worked tirelessly to change the landscape of sports on the continent through this historic initiative. Filming on the series has commenced in several countries.
Housed at Fremantle and made exclusively in partnership with the BAL, the documentary series forms part of Fremantle’s exclusive multiyear deal with Brown’s production company, Passenger.
Commenting, BAL President, Amadou Gallo Fall, said: “We are honored to partner with such illustrious producers and visionary filmmakers to tell the story of the Basketball Africa League’s inaugural season. The BAL will have a transformational impact on basketball and sports as a whole in Africa, and this project will capture this historic moment in time for generations to come.”
Reacting on his appointment, Director, Tebogo Malope, said: “I’m beyond excited about this project because it places African storytellers at the helm of their own story. To be directing this series with esteemed producers Richard Brown, Fisher Stevens and the BAL encapsulates the very best of what it means to be global, and is a dream come true for me.”