By BASHIR ADEFAKA
“We are excited to host the second edition of “NBA Meets Art” as we continue to use basketball as a tool to inspire and connect people across Africa,” Abudu.
The second edition of “NBA Meets Art”, an invite-only evening reception bringing together industry leaders from fashion, music, art, business, and sports, will hold in Lagos on Saturday, November 4, 2023.
The event, curated to celebrate the game of basketball through the lens of Nigerian art and culture, will hold at the Balmoral Convention Centre at Federal Palace Hotel.
Hosted by NBA Africa, the event will put on display Nigerian artist, Dennis Osadebe’s Basketball-inspired installation as the headlining spectacle. Set to hold as part of the widely-followed Art X Lagos which holds between November 4 and 5, the installation on display is titled “Passing/Building/Victory” which explores the key role of teamwork on the court.
Also touching on how similar collaborations can help develop communities, the event aligns with NBA’s mission to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball.
The installation comprises of five figurines representing basketball players wearing the artist’s distinctive mask, a recurring symbol in his visual language that speaks to Nigeria’s basketball heritage.
Drawing from the universal childhood memories of playing with toys, the figurines will be in dynamic motion, symbolically passing the ball through their unified, outstretched arms, encapsulating the spirit of victory through teamwork and emphasising the importance of every person’s contribution to the development, growth, and prosperity in their communities.
The installation will also be open to public viewing from today through November 5 at the Balmoral Convention Centre at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos.
Speaking about the event, Vice President and Head of NBA Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu, said: “We are excited to host the second edition of “NBA Meets Art” as we continue to use basketball as a tool to inspire and connect people across Africa.
“Given Nigeria’s vibrant art scene, it was essential we create a platform to celebrate basketball through the lens of the country’s rich heritage and culture. The theme of our collaboration with Dennis Osadebe, “Passing/Building/Victory”, specifically speaks to how we can use the teamwork displayed in basketball as inspiration when building our communities, which also aligns with the essence of our work in Nigeria and Africa,” Abudu said.
NBA Africa is an affiliate of the National Basketball Association (NBA), a global sports and media organization with the mission to inspire and connect people everywhere through the power of basketball. NBA Africa conducts the league’s business in Africa, including the Basketball Africa League (BAL), and has opened subsidiary offices in Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; and Lagos, Nigeria.
The NBA has a long history in Africa spanning more than five decades and opened its African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010.
NBA’s history in Nigeria dates back to when Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famers, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, held basketball clinics in Lagos in 1971.
There have been nearly 50 NBA players either born in Nigeria or with at least one Nigerian parent, including Hakeem Olajuwon, who was selected first overall in the 1984 NBA Draft and became the first African player to be selected first overall.
In 2013, the NBA, ExxonMobil, and PanAfricare launched the Power Forward youth development program, which uses basketball to teach health literacy and life skills to secondary school students in Abuja.
To date, Power Forward has reached more than 250,000 boys and girls across 40 schools. The NBA Nigeria office launched in January 2022.