National Basketball Players Association Joins UN Global Africa Business Initiative for "Unstoppable Africa" 2023 Event

National Basketball Players Association Joins UN Global Africa Business Initiative for "Unstoppable Africa" 2023 Event

NEW YORK, NY, September 22, 2023 – The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) today hosted a panel during the UN Global Africa Business Initiative’s (GABI) “Unstoppable Africa” event, titled “Off the Court and Across Africa: The Economy of Sports.” Consisting of several smaller sessions, the overall panel explored how sports is an important part of Africa's economic growth by creating jobs and opportunities across the continent. 

This event was part of a broader effort by the NBPA to activate around the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), with activities intended to strengthen its ties with Africa and connect its players with impactful economic opportunities across Africa. This year marks the NBPA’s first activation at UNGA. 

During today’s panel, NBPA Executive Committee Member Bismack Biyombo moderated a presidential dialogue during the event with Republic of Botswana President His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi E. K. Masisi on “The Role of Sports in Fostering Economic Opportunities in Botswana.” Biyombo also closed the session with a presentation about his work in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the impact he wants to see in the future for the development of Africa. 

NBPA Executive Director Tamika Tremaglio also participated in a panel conversation about alongside Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of the Directors for African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and Strauss Zelnick, Chief Executive Officer of Take-Two Interactive. The conversation, which was moderated by Nana Appiah-Korangm Executive Director on the Board of Silverbacks, Holdings, explored how sports can serve as a cataylst for economic impact and development. 

NBPA Member Gorgui Dieng participated in an athlete-led discussion moderated by WNBA player and WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike. Alongside NHL player Kyle Okposo and NFL player Ndamukong Suh, this panel discussed the impact of their respective African roots had in shaping their sports careers and how they continue to bring that influence into their work in their local communities.  

“Sports has opened an entirely new pathway for Congolese kids that ultimately lead to better jobs and more prosperous lives for them and their families,” said Bismack Biyombo during his address in today’s panel. “Sports helps transform their lives. Sports hold a unique power to spark change." 

“It's a privilege to serve the 450 players that make up the NBPA, 50 of whom came directly from Africa -- either born there or first-generation,” said Tamika Tremaglio earlier today.“Africa's economic development is critically important to our players, and they're in a position where they want to give back and make sure they're doing things that are meaningful to serve their purpose and impact future generations. This is a priority for them, and as the head of their union, it's a priority for us." 

See here for photos from today’s event. Please direct all media inquiries to  


About the NBPA 

The National Basketball Players Association is the union for current professional basketball players in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Established in 1954, the NBPA’s mission is to protect and support the rights and talents of our players, magnify the power of their collective will, and amplify their voices as leaders who will transcend sport and society globally. 

The NBPA advocates on behalf of the best interests of all NBA players, including the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, the filing of grievances on behalf of the players, or counseling players on benefits, educational and post-NBA career opportunities. Business opportunities are generated by THINK450, the for-profit subsidiary of the NBPA charged with managing the players’ group licensing rights. 

Dedicated to preserving the legacy of its members, the NBPA Foundation provides support and assistance to persons, communities, and organizations around the world that seek to improve the lives of those in need.