Managing Director of NBA Africa, and Basketball Africa League (BAL) President, Amadou Gallo Fall says his outfit remains committed to the growth of the sport in Ghana.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Juliet Bawuah, Fall said despite the obvious challenges, he remains optimistic of better days.
“We are committed to really growing the game across the continent. It’s the number two sport globally. It is the number two sport on the continent also. You would be very surprised that in spite of all that, Ghana not having no arena in the entire country, you’ve had a very strong presence in our league and in the NBA,” he said.
“That is why for us, Ghana has always been a country that we’ve looked at. We have to make sure that basketball becomes part of the mainstream conversation. Believe it or not, you’ve had four players from Ghana who’ve played in the NBA.”
He further touted the country’s strong credentials in the game, adding that “We currently have a young man at the NBA in Africa, in Senegal from Ghana; a 16-year-old who has a very bright future. So, the talent is there. And, you know, obviously you are a football nation, but there is room for this incredible sport that young people are all trying to join.”
Moving the sport forward he said, will require the input and support of all stakeholders.
“We want to motivate all stakeholders, heads of states and working with local federations to build this infrastructure because this is a sport of the future. This is a sport that young people are interested in because of the intersection between fashion, music and technology that a young person from anywhere in the world is drawn to. And, that’s what we hope to make sure happens in Ghana.”
Citing the gains achieved by Rwanda, Gallo said he was hopeful that the same level of enthusiasm will be met with attempts to have a solid footing for the development of the game in Ghana.
“We went to Kigali in 2018 to meet with President Kagame, along with NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, the Deputy Commissioner, and a good friend.
“It was just two conversations and, through that we have a beautiful arena.
“That same level of preparation is taking place in Ghana. And, I have no doubt that it is going to happen. You have a wealth of resources, people with the expertise, who are from Ghana and ready to come in, inspire and motivate the government.
“I remember coming there with Pops Mensah-Bonsu in 2013, along with Dan and his brother, Kojo; we had a chance to travel to Kumasi to meet the Asantehene, to lay the groundwork for future basketball development projects. So, the work is coming along, and we want to see Ghana among the great African Basketball countries.”
Amadou Gallo Fall appeared on #InConversationWith, the weekly personality chat session hosted by the award-winning Sports Journalist, Juliet Bawuah.