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Embiid, DeRozan to star in NBA Africa Game at Pretoria

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By Agence France-Presse

Cameroonian star center Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan will headline the third NBA Africa Game in August at Pretoria, South Africa, the league announced Thursday.

The August 4 contest will again feature a Team Africa versus Team World format, with players born in Africa or with family ties to the continent facing a global squad of talent from the rest of the world.

“To play in the NBA’s third game in Africa is truly special to me and I can’t wait to take the floor in front of our fans in Africa,” Embiid said.

Others set to play for the African team include Toronto center Serge Ibaka from the Republic of Congo and teammate Pascal Siakam from Cameroon, New Orleans forward Cheick Diallo of Mali, Orlando forward Bismack Biyombo from Democratic Republic of Congo, Portland’s Al-Farouq Aminu, an American whose parents are Nigerian, and Frenchmen Evan Fournier, an Orlando swingman with a parent from Algeria, and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, a Philadelphia swingman from Democratic Republic of Congo.

Team World will feature DeRozan and fellow Americans Harrison Barnes of Dallas, Rudy Gay of San Antonio, Hassan Whiteside of Miami and Khris Middleton of Milwaukee plus Italy’s Danilo Gallinari of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The game, which will take place following the 16th edition of Basketball Without Borders Africa, will benefit the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The 100th anniversary of Mandela’s birth will be marked in July.

“We are deeply honored to be a part of the centennial celebration of President Mandela’s birthday,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.

“Our third NBA Africa Game and 16th Basketball Without Borders Africa camp will embody one of the most enduring parts of his legacy, which is the belief that sports have the power to inspire and change the world.”

The NBA held prior Africa Games in 2015 and 2017 in Johannesburg. More than 80 current or former NBA players are from Africa or have direct family ties to the continent. (AFP)