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NBA announces first NBA Africa game, Giannis to participate

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Today the NBA announced that it will be hosting the first NBA Africa game in Johannesburg on August 1st. The game will be on ESPN at 8:00 a.m. CT and will feature Team World going up against Team Africa, which feature Giannis Antetokounmpo on their roster. The son of Nigerian immigrants, Giannis and his basketball-playing brothers were born in Greece (where the family name Adetokunbo was "Greek-ified" when they became citizens in 2013).

Here are the full rosters for both teams:

Team Africa (players born in Africa or second-generation African players)

  • Luol Deng (captain)
  • Al-Farouq Aminu
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Nicolas Batum
  • Bismack Biyombo
  • Boris Diaw
  • Gorgui Dieng
  • Festus Ezeli
  • Serge Ibaka
  • Luc Mbah a Moute

(A quick note about this roster: these guys are all forwards or bigger. Could we be seeing some point Giannis)?

Team World (rest of the world)

  • Chris Paul
  • Bradley Beal
  • Kenneth Faried
  • Marc Gasol
  • Pau Gasol
  • Jeff Green
  • Marcus Smart
  • Evan Turner
  • Nikola Vucevic

The league provided some additional information for the event, including coaching and background information on the program.

"Five-time NBA Champion Gregg Popovich will coach Team Africa, with 2014-15 NBA Coach of the Year Mike Budenholzer of the Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams serving as assistant coaches. Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King and Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujiri are the Team Africa general managers, with Eric Waters (Washington Wizards) serving as the team's athletic trainer.

Brooklyn Nets Coach Lionel Hollins will coach Team World, with Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens serving as assistant coach. San Antonio Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford is the Team World general manager, while Keon Weise (Orlando Magic) will be the team's athletic trainer.

NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) will also participate.

The game will take place following the 13th edition of Basketball without Borders (BWB) Africa, the NBA and FIBA's global basketball development and community outreach program that has reached 1,000 campers from 31 African countries since 2003.

As part of BWB and NBA Africa Game efforts, NBA Cares, the league's global social responsibility program, and the NBPA Foundation will host a series of events to leave a lasting legacy in the community. With support from Ford, local youth will participate in a Jr. NBA clinic on Wednesday, July 29 at the American International School of Johannesburg. Also at the school, Hoops 4 Hope will conduct life skills sessions presented by South African Airways. NBA players, coaches and legends will hold sessions on leadership and health and wellness for BWB campers throughout the week.

Members of the NBA family will gather at the newly built Boys & Girls Club at Protea Glen on Thursday, July 30 for a basketball court dedication and clinic presented by NIKE.

Friday, July 31 will mark the third consecutive year that NBA players will visit SOS Children's Village Ennerdale, an organization that builds families for orphaned and abandoned children. NBA Cares and the NBPA Foundation have undertaken their largest commitment to the village to date, working on a range of projects from the refurbishment of the local library to the construction of a new basketball court."

A stop in Africa continues a busy offseason of travel for Giannis, who has visited Greece, China and Taiwan in addition to his usual duties stateside. After his trip to Africa, Giannis is expected to represent Greece at the 2015 EuroBasket, aka the European basketball championships which tip off September 5. Perhaps that's a lot of work, but becoming more of a global figure can't hurt.