The Toronto Raptors’ season may be coming to an end Sunday afternoon, but there will still be plenty of basketball to watch this summer.
Few games this summer are going to come with as much intrigue as Sunday morning’s Basketball African League opener between Rwanda’s Patriots Basketball Club and Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers. While watching a bunch of unknown basketball players might not entirely interest you, Sunday’s game has at least two interesting names: Jermaine Cole and Ben Uzoh.
The 36-year-old Cole, better known as J. Cole, will make his pro basketball debut as a 6-foot-3(ish) guard for the Patriots. Opposite him in the league’s inaugural game will be the 33-year-old Uzoh, a former Raptors player who infamously starred in a must-love game for Toronto back in 2012. His career-high 12-point, 12-assist, 11-rebound night against the New Jersey Nets on April 26, 2012 cost Toronto the ability to select Damian Lillard in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The African league is comprised of 12 teams from 12 African countries each with 13 players (12 active and one inactive), at least nine of whom are citizens in their respective team’s home country. Each team will play three regular-season games between May 16 and May 23 before the playoffs commence on the 25th of May. Within a week of the final regular-season game, a champion will be crowned on May 30th with the Finals tipping off at 10 am E.T.
All BAL games will be available on ESPN+ in the United States and league games and programming will be available in Canada on TSN.