The NBA has named Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon its Ambassador to Africa. Olajuwon, a native of Nigeria, will become an important figure and work with the NBA in the league’s initiative to develop basketball on the continent.
Olajuwon will work closely with the NBA Africa office, which is located in Johannesburg and led by Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA Vice President for Development in Africa. The Nigerian native will represent the NBA through a range of basketball development events and NBA Cares activities across the region to help grow the game, give back to communities in need, and bring attention to diplomacy through sport.
“Basketball has given me so much in life,” said Olajuwon. “In this new role I am looking forward to impacting young Africans and utilising the power of sport to help change lives in what is an exciting new chapter in my career.”
“We are elated that one of the greatest to ever play the game, a son of Africa, and a legend of Hakeem’s stature will officially represent the NBA in Africa,” said Amadou Gallo Fall. “He truly embodies the values of the game, and will be a great ambassador for the league and a perfect role model for Africa’s youth.”
Olajuwon recently participated in the launch of “Power Forward,” the ExxonMobil, NBA and Africare’s development program launched in Abuja, Nigeria last November. Prior to that he visited South Africa last August and attended the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day celebrations at the International Convention Centre and the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.