Written by Oluwatoyin Adeleye
The game turned out more emotional than sporty with a clear-cut win from Team World against Team Africa on Saturday.
Team World scored a 108-97 victory Saturday over Team Africa in the 2017 NBA Africa Game at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Andre Drummond led the charge for the winning side with 14 points and 13 rebounds. DeMarcus Cousins also put up a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards, while Jaylen Brown (15 points), Kristaps Porzingis (14), Courtney Lee (13), Kyle Lowry (13) and Kemba Walker (10) all reached double figures in scoring.
Nigeria’s Victor Oladipo shined for the African team with 28 points and nine rebounds, earning him MVP honors for the game. Emmanuel Mudiay nearly posted a triple-double as he tallied 22 points, nine assists and eight boards.
Despite the undermanned Africans’ loss, nobody seemed to mind or care much, mainly because the players put in work during the game and more importantly, all week long.
A group of players got together for an exhibition game Saturday on African soil for only the second time in history, bringing the beautiful sport to a place that doesn’t see players like them.
They were split in two squads, Team World for those born in other countries, Team Africa for those with the continent’s blood rushing through their veins. The NBA Africa Game 2017 took place inside the TicketPro Dome, which normally gets concerts and car shows, and the reception from the announced sellout of 7,348 was festive. At one point, they chanted: “Afri-ca” because the fans’ rooting interest was unapologetically biased.
You see why the match was more emotional than sporty.
It’s the second straight win for Team World, which won the inaugural NBA Africa Game 101-97 in 2015.
Team Africa’s Victor Oladipo won the MVP award to the cheers of teeming fans.
Team Africa comprised of players born in Africa and second-generation African players, led by team captains Luol Deng and Thabo Sefolosha.
Others include: Bismack Biyombo, Clint Capela, Gorgui Dieng, Joel Embiid, Serge Ibaka, Luc Mbah a Moute, Salah Mejri, Emmanuel Mudiay, Victor Oladipo and Dennis Schroder.
Team World comprised of players from the rest of the world, led by team captains Dirk Nowitzki and Kemba Walker. Others are: Leandro Barbosa, Jaylen Brown, Wilson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Courtney Lee, Kyle Lowry, CJ McCollum and Kristaps Porzingis.