Dallas Mavericks Forward Dirk Nowitzki Named Co-Captain for Nba’s Africa Game
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki of Germany stands on the court before the NBA basketball game between the Washington Wizards and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas on January 3 2017. File photo by Larry W. Smith/EPA
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki will be one of the captains for the NBA’s Africa Game on Aug. 5.
The NBA and National Basketball Players Association announced Monday that Nowitzki, who is from Germany, will be a co-captain of Team World along with Charlotte Hornets All-Star Kemba Walker.
Team Africa will be captained by the Los Angeles Lakers’ Luol Deng, a two-time NBA All-Star who is from the South Sudan, and the Atlanta Hawks’ Thabo Sefolosha, an 11-year NBA veteran whose father was born in South Africa.
Nowitzki is a 13-time NBA All-Star and 2011 NBA champion. Last season, he became the first international player with 30,000 career points.
NBA Africa Game 2017, which will take place in Johannesburg, will once again feature a Team Africa vs. Team World format and will be played in support of UNICEF, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa.
In February, the NBA and NBPA announced that Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic, Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver Nuggets, Democratic Republic of the Congo) will play for Team Africa, and that CJ McCollum (Portland Trail Blazers, U.S.) will play for Team World. The NBA said a full roster of players and coaches will be announced at a later date.
The sold-out NBA Africa Game 2015, the first NBA game on the continent, took place Aug. 1, 2015, at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg. There have been more than 70 current or former NBA players from Africa or with ties to the continent, including NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) and NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), both of whom played in the 2015 game.