In a cool off-season move, the Raptors will be heavily involved in the NBA’s Africa Game this August 4th, in the South African capital of Pretoria. This is the third game of its type held by the league since 2015, and the Raptors have been no stranger to it in years past. This year, Toronto will have DeMar DeRozan involved, along with Serge Ibaka and Pascal Siakam.
DeRozan will be joined by fellow All-Star Joel Embiid, from Cameroon, to headline the game. From the press release, we’ve got quotes from both stars:
“I was fortunate to participate in Basketball Without Borders Africa first as a camper and then last year as a coach. To play in the NBA’s third game in Africa is truly special to me, and I can’t wait to take the floor in front of our fans in Africa.
“I am proud to represent Team World in the third NBA Africa Game. Some of my teammates played in the previous two games, and I have heard a lot of great things about South Africa and our fans there. I’m looking forward to visiting the continent for the first time this summer.”
For those who don’t know, the NBA’s Africa Game is run as an exhibition between Team World and Team Africa. So far, as far as rosters go, here’s who is planning to appear along with Embiid and DeRozan:
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2011)
Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland Trail Blazers; U.S.; parents from Nigeria)
Bismack Biyombo (Orlando Magic; Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Cheick Diallo (New Orleans Pelicans; Mali)
Evan Fournier (Magic; France; parent from Algeria)
Serge Ibaka (Toronto Raptors; Republic of the Congo)
Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (76ers; France; parent from Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Pascal Siakam (Raptors; Cameroon; BWB Africa 2012).
DeMar DeRozan (Raptors; U.S.)
Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks; U.S.)
Danilo Gallinari (LA Clippers; Italy; BWB Europe 2003)
Rudy Gay (San Antonio Spurs; U.S.)
Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks; U.S.)
Hassan Whiteside (Miami Heat; U.S.)
We’ll keep an eye open for any broadcast info as the date of the game arrives. And while he’s not mentioned specifically in the release, expect Raptors president Masai Ujiri, perhaps the biggest name in African basketball, to be involved in some way at some point.