Basketball: The pinnacle events shaping African hoops in 2024


As the echoes of a remarkable 2023 fade away, African basketball aficionados eagerly anticipate what the next twelve months have in store for the continent’s basketball landscape.

The stage is set for a series of thrilling events, featuring both national teams and club competitions that promise to captivate fans across the globe.

The Basketball Africa League (BAL) kicks off the basketball festivities early in the year with the BAL Combine, scheduled for January 5-7 in Rabat, Morocco.

As the fourth season of BAL looms on the horizon, players from diverse backgrounds will converge to showcase their skills and catch the attention of potential employers.

The Combine serves as a precursor to the much-anticipated BAL season, which is set to unfold across South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, and Rwanda from March to June, marking the league’s first foray into South Africa and its debut in four different countries.

January 2024 also marks the commencement of the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket Pre-Qualifiers. Teams that missed out on the previous edition of the quadrennial AfroBasket will vie for a chance to enter the qualifiers in a series of intense matchups across various African cities.

Antananarivo, Madagascar, is the first stop, hosting teams from FIBA Africa Zone 7, with other zones following suit in subsequent events.

The Pre-Qualifiers set the stage for the AfroBasket Qualifiers, taking place over three windows in February and November 2024 and concluding in February 2025. Sixteen out of twenty participating countries will secure a coveted spot in the 2025 FIBA AfroBasket.

A significant highlight on the international stage is the Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (WOQT) in February, where reigning African champions Nigeria and 2023 Women’s AfroBasket runner-up Senegal aim to secure spots at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The stakes are high as they face tough competition, including hosts Belgium and reigning Olympic champions, the USA.

In July, the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament will witness four African countries – Angola, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Egypt – battling for the chance to join South Sudan at the Paris Olympics.

The road to Paris is fraught with challenges, but these nations are determined to make their mark on the global stage.

The youth talent will also take center stage with the 2024 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup for both boys and girls. U16 African champions Guinea and runners-up Egypt will represent the continent in Turkey (June 29 – July 7) for the boys, while U16 African champions Mali and runners-up Egypt will compete in the 2024 FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Mexico (July 13-21).

As the summer heat intensifies, the Olympic Games in Paris from July 27 to August 11 will feature South Sudan as the lone African representative so far. Meanwhile, Nigeria and Senegal battle it out for a spot in the Women’s Olympics tournament through the WOQT.

The basketball calendar is not complete without the biennial U18 African Championships (Men and Women), although host countries and schedules are yet to be confirmed.

Beyond these flagship events, several other highlights add to the excitement, including the return of the Africa Women’s Basketball League (AWBL) in December 2024 and the pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds for BAL Season 5, expected to run from September to November 2024. Additionally, Basketball Without Borders, a platform that fosters global basketball development, awaits confirmation of its host and rosters.

With a diverse array of competitions spanning the entire year, African basketball enthusiasts are in for a thrilling ride, eagerly anticipating the unfoldment of these basketball sagas across the continent and beyond. The stage is set, and the players are ready – let the games begin.

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