The Afropolitain magazine creator "Keziah Makoundou", our travel agent "Jocelyn Hunter" and "Myself" the beauty editor have decided to attend the wonderful 2017 NBA All-Star Basketball Game played on February 19, 2017 at the Smoothie King Center. It was the 66th edition of the event.
The industry finest were all there!
We have attended some great events, dinners and witnessed the preparation of "Mardi-Gras".
For the fans of basketball, like "Keziah Makoundou" Afropolitain magazine creator. It was a full incredible experience to live and sit front row.
The West won the game 192-182.
The MVP of the game was Anthony Davis, who scored 52 points, the most ever scored by a player in an All-Star Game.
The All-Star Game starters were announced on January 19, 2017. Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers and DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors were named the backcourt starters in the East, earning their fourth and third all-star appearances, respectively. LeBron James was named a starter to his 13th career all-star game, tying Dirk Nowitzki for most selections among active players. Joining James in the East frontcourt was Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls, his third consecutive selection, and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, his first all-star selection in his young career, and the first Buck to be named an all-star since Michael Redd in 2004. Giannis became the first Greek basketball player to participate in the all-star game.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and James Harden of the Houston Rockets were named to the starting backcourt in the West, earning their fourth and fifth all-star appearances, respectively. In the frontcourt, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors was named to his eighth career all-star game, along with Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans, their second and fourth all-star selections, respectively.
The All-Star Game reserves were announced on January 26, 2017.The West reserves include Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors, DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings, Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies, DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz. Jordan and Hayward were selected as all-stars for the first time in their respective careers.
The East reserves include Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors, Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics, John Wall of the Washington Wizards, Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks, and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets, who was selected as an all-star for the first time in his career. Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks was named as a replacement for Kevin Love due to Love suffering a knee injury.
In my opinion, the best event that we have attended was not the game itself, neither Michael Jordan's birthday party, nor the NBA legend brunch but instead the NBA Africa ALL-Star lunch on.
We were kindly invited by my long time friend Will M'biakop.
Will and i met in Paris, over 17 years ago, he is always very discreet about what he does, I name him "La force tranquille" in case you never heard from him, he does not make a lot of noise but he moves mountains. Please allow me to introduce you the man himself!
Will Mbiakop founded the AMW group to deliver solutions to a diverse clientele in three ways: business strategy, sports marketing and sports tourism. After providing business value in three regions, Europe, the Middle East and Africa for major organizations such as the NCAA, ESPN, Redbull, BNP Paribas, and Africa 24 TV, Will was recruited by the National Basketball Association (NBA Africa) to develop global marketing partnerships and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives across Africa. Will has a special interest in how sports can positively impact communities through business, infrastructure, education and health, while empowering youth and generating revenues for corporations. He has developed creative marketing strategies and activation plans targeting both retail and corporate markets.
So you can imagine how proud I am of his achievements and career choices.
As well my friend the one and only Hammadoun Sidibe, founder of the Quai 54, the only streetball tournament worldwide sponsored by Jordan Brand. It has historically been held every summer in Paris since 2002.
20,000 fans are granted free entry and watch the two-day basketball tournament, including a slam dunk contest.
The venue each year is the Place de la Concorde, Paris which is very close to the Eiffel Tower in the city's eighth arrondissement.
We are all sons and daughters of Africa sharing one common goal! "Africa 2.0" as my brother in law would say loud and clear!
Amadou Gallo-Fall oversees the NBA’s grassroots basketball development initiatives and its partnerships with marketing, media and consumer product companies in Africa. Amadou has been working in this capacity since January 2010 and is currently based at the NBA Africa office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
What they are doing for the continent is amazing. The lunch was so informative, the panel and discussion were very interesting. I hope you will enjoy the little videos and photos I am attaching to this article.
Amadou through his dedication and leadership at the NBA is increasing basketball's popularity in our motherland. Giving opportunities to African young Men and Women. He is empowering them using sport as a tool to shape the new generation of leaders and future champions.
In case you didn't know, the National Basketball Association (NBA) Africa Game 2015 was an exhibition basketball game played on August 1, 2015 in Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was the first NBA game, and the first game involving any major North American professional sports league, to take place on the continent of Africa. It was contested between Team Africa, and Team World.
Team World won the exhibition game by a score of 101-97.
Team Africa, comprised of players born in Africa and second-generation African players, team captain and two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng (Miami Heat; Great Britain; born in South Sudan), Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.; parents from Nigeria), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks; Greece; parents from Nigeria), Nicolas Batum (Charlotte Hornets; France; parent from Cameroon), Bismack Biyombo (Toronto Raptors; Democratic Republic of the Congo), Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs; France; parent from Senegal), Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal), Festus Ezeli (Golden State Warriors; Nigeria), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder; Congo), and Luc Mbah a Moute (Sacramento Kings; Cameroon).
Team World, comprised of players from the rest of the world, feature team captain, NBPA President and eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers; U.S.), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards; U.S.), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets; U.S.), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies; Spain), Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls; Spain), Jeff Green (Memphis Grizzlies; U.S.), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics; U.S.), Evan Turner (Boston Celtics; U.S.) and Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic; Montenegro).
After such a great event done in 2015, NBA Africa is doing it again this summer 2017 in South Africa!! I can not wait to share with you all the footage and photos.
I believe this time team Africa will win!!! it is our time to shine!
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check out this wonderful video courtesy to NBA: