JOHANNESBURG – NBA opening-night rosters featured seven African players among the total record-tying 84 international players (previously set in 2010-11), from 37 countries and territories. Play got underway, as some of the world’s best athletes, many of them from Africa, commenced this year’s increasingly international basketball competition which has seen tremendous growth across the African continent in the past few years.
This season, Festus Ezeli (Nigeria, Golden State), Luc Mbah A Moute (Cameroon, Milwaukee Bucks), Luol Deng (South Sudan, Chicago Bulls), Serge Ibaka (Congo-Brazzaville, Oklahoma City Thunder), DeSagana Diop (Senegal, Charlotte Bobcats), Bismack Biyombo (DRC, Charlotte Bobcats), and Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania, Oklahoma City Thunder) will represent Africa on NBA rosters. Rosters also include several players with direct ties to Africa, such as Al-Farouq Aminu (Nigeria, New Orleans), Emeka Okafor (Nigeria, Washington Wizards), Ekpe Udoh (Nigeria, Milwaukee Bucks), and Thabo Sefolosha (South Africa, Oklahoma City Thunder) whose father is South African and who recently took part in Basketball without Borders in Johannesburg.
Fans in South Africa can enjoy expanded and unprecedented access to NBA games and programming this season through two weekly games aired on SABC1 and two live games on ESPN, airing on Wednesdays and Fridays (Eastern Time). NBA League Pass International, the full season live game online subscription service in its 19th season, is also available. Currently, there is a free preview of NBA League Pass until November 7 by visiting http://watch.nba.com/nba/subscribe. Fans can also get closer to the action through sites like Facebook.com/Africa and nba.com/Africa.
Another way to access content is through NBA Game Time, the official App of the NBA, which features a weekly live game, daily video highlights, real time stats and scores, news, photos and more. NBA Game Time is available on iPhone, iPad and Android.