The Basketball Africa League (BAL), a new professional league featuring 12 club teams from across Africa and scheduled to begin play in March 2020, on Friday named NBA Africa Head of Business Operations and Ghana-native John Manyo-Plange as BAL Vice President & Head of Strategy and Operations.
Manyo-Plange, who goes by Manyo, will assume his new role immediately and will continue to report to BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall.
“Over the last decade, Manyo has been instrumental in the continued growth of basketball and the NBA’s brand across Africa,” said Fall.
“He has helped expand the NBA’s business across the continent, and I look forward to continuing to build the BAL and African basketball ecosystem with Manyo’s support and leadership.”
Manyo-Plange has more than 20 years of experience in the NBA’s global operations and management and had been working in his previous role since May 2010 when he helped launch the NBA Africa office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Since then he has led many aspects of the NBA’s continued growth in Africa by helping secure marketing, media and consumer products partnerships and leading the operations around the three sold-out NBA Africa Games and the launch of The NBA Academy Africa in Senegal.
Prior to relocating to South Africa, Manyo-Plange spent 14 years at the NBA office in New York City, holding management positions across multiple departments, including international business operations, events and marketing.
Manyo-Plange graduated from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration, specializing in International Economic Development and Management.
He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Rutgers University, where he double-majored in Political Science and Sports Management and was a Henry Rutgers Scholar.
In July, the BAL announced Cairo (Egypt), Dakar (Senegal), Lagos (Nigeria), Luanda (Angola), Rabat (Morocco) and either Monastir or Tunis (Tunisia) as the host cities where the inaugural BAL regular season will take place and Kigali (Rwanda) as the host city for the first-ever BAL Final Four and BAL Final. NIKE and Jordan Brand will be the exclusive outfitter of the new professional league.
The announcement about the NBA and FIBA’s launch of the BAL, which would mark the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America, was made at the NBA All-Star 2019 Africa Luncheon in Charlotte on Saturday, February 16.