January 17, 2020 / 8:33 PM / 3 months ago

NBA's investment in Africa to produce more stars: Biyombo

FILE PHOTO: Dec 31, 2019; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo (8) warms up prior to the game against the Boston Celtics at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association’s investment in Africa will result in more star players from the continent shining in the NBA, Charlotte Hornets center Bismack Biyombo said.

The Congolese player will feature in the first NBA game in France as the Hornets face the Milwaukee Bucks in Paris next Friday.

He believes Africa will soon host a NBA match as the game is going global.

“I think we will soon have a NBA match in Africa,” the 27-year-old told a conference call on Friday.

The NBA and the sport’s governing body FIBA set up the Basketball Africa League (BAL) due to start in March, a move Biyombo believes will help the sport grow in Africa.

“One way or another I will be involved (in helping the NBA grow in Africa), but the most important thing is to get that new league started,” said Biyombo.

Cameroon’s Pascal Siakam averaged 19.8 points per game to help the Toronto Raptors win the NBA Finals last year and Biyombo believes there is more to come from Africa.

“Now the young African players won’t necessarily need to go play in China or Europe to show themselves, the NBA scouts are going to come to Africa,” he explained.

“They see there is talent and they are going to take care of these talents. They’ll eat better, they’ll train better and in a close future there will be more African stars (in the NBA).”

Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Pritha Sarkar

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