Newly-Renovated Court at Limete 7eme in Kinshasa Will Host; Jr. NBA Tournament for More Than 200 Youth on July 2-3; Two-Time NBA Champion and Kinshasa-Native Didier Mbenga Attend Launch Celebration.
NBA Africa and Groupe Africa Development Solutions (ADS), a multinational company that designs and implements creative and innovative solutions for African business, yesterday unveiled a newly-renovated and solar-powered basketball court in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The court, which is located in Kinshasa’s Limete 7eme, is fitted with ADS’ Solektra solar-powered lighting system that will allow thousands of players from Kinshasa and surrounding communities to play late into the night.
The court was unveiled at a ceremony by NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams; ADS Founder and CEO Samba Bathily; Mayor of Limete Nathalie Alamba Liwoza Feza; and two-time NBA champion Didier Mbenga (DRC). In celebration of the new court, NBA Africa and ADS will host a Jr. NBA tournament for more than 200 youth at the court on Sunday, July 2 and Monday, July 3.
“Kinshasa is a city with a,rich basketball tradition, as some of the NBA’s all-time greats from Africa, including Dikembe Mutombo, Didier Mbenga, Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo, started their basketball journeys right here at Limete 7eme,” said Williams. “ADS shares our vision of making the game more accessible across Africa, and refurbishing this solar-powered court in such an iconic location will provide more youth from the surrounding communities with a safe space to play the game at any time of the day.”
“ADS Group’s collaboration with NBA Africa is a testament to our longstanding commitment to the development of youth and sports on the continent, after several other initiatives in West and Central Africa,” said Bathily. “Our dedication to empowering African communities and fostering positive change has been an integral part of our mission since the inception of ADS. We firmly believe that investing in the youth of the DRC is an investment in a brighter future for the country. By unveiling this solar-powered basketball court in Kinshasa, we aim to provide a safe and inclusive space for the youth to pursue their passion for basketball, develop their skills, and unleash their full potential.”
“This is where it all started for me, and I’m excited that this newly-renovated court will provide more opportunities for Congolese youth to learn and play the game as I did,” said Mbenga. “I hope they take full advantage of this beautiful new space and continue to develop as players and as leaders in their communities.”
ADS Group remains dedicated to utilizing innovative solutions to drive sustainable development in African nations, and their collaboration with NBA Africa underscores their commitment to empowering the youth, promoting sportsmanship, and nurturing talent in the DRC.
Mbenga is a two-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers (2009-2010). A native of Kinshasa, he played for the Dallas Mavericks (2004-07), Golden State Warriors (2007-08), Lakers (2008-10) and New Orleans Pelicans (2010-11) during his seven-year NBA career.
The Jr. NBA is the league’s global youth basketball program for boys and girls that teaches the fundamental skills and core values of the game: teamwork, respect, determination, and community. The Jr. NBA is focused on helping grow and improve the youth basketball experience at the grassroots level for players, coaches and parents. During the 2021-22 season, the Jr. NBA reached 41.4 million youth in 160 countries through a network of affiliated youth basketball organizations as well as in-person and online events and clinics. Jr. NBA programming has directly reached tens of thousands of boys and girls across 16 African countries.