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Obama in 2014. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Obama has joined NBA Africa as a strategic adviser, the league announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: Obama will "help advance the league’s social responsibility efforts across the continent," including initiatives that "support greater gender equality and economic inclusion."

The big picture: The league opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2010.  Since then, NBA Africa has focused on boosting access to basketball and expanding its presence in "priority African markets."

What they're saying: "We have ambitious growth plans for NBA Africa and having President Obama join our efforts is a recognition that through sport, Africa can take its rightful place on the world stage," NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams said in a statement. 

  • "In addition to his well-documented love for basketball, President Obama has a firm belief in Africa’s potential and the enormous growth opportunities that exist through sports," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver added.

"One of the things I've always loved most about basketball is the fact that it brings people together and empowers young people everywhere," Obama said in a video message posted on the NBA's Twitter.

  • "When a game gets going, it doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from or what language you speak, as long as you can play," he added.
  • "In Africa, basketball has the power to promote opportunity, wellness, equality and empowerment across the continent."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Oct 6, 2021 - Health

The malaria vaccine could be a game-changer for global development

Two siblings rest beneath a malaria bed net in Cambodia. Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

The just-approved malaria vaccine could represent one of the biggest ever achievements in global development.

Why it matters: Malaria kills more than 400,000 people a year, more than half of whom are under the age of 5, and it notably slows the pace of economic growth in the sub-Saharan countries most affected by the mosquito-borne disease.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.