Wolves’ Dieng to play in NBA’s Africa game
NEW YORK — Gregg Popovich will coach the home team while brothers Pau and Marc Gasol will play for the World Team in the NBA’s first game in Africa.
Popovich, the five-time champion from the San Antonio Spurs, will guide Team Africa in the Aug. 1 game in Johannesburg, the league announced Thursday. He will be assisted on the bench by Atlanta’s Mike Budenholzer, the NBA Coach of the Year and his former assistant with the Spurs, and Oklahoma City assistant Monty Williams.
The World Team will be coached by Brooklyn’s Lionel Hollins, with Boston’s Brad Stevens as an assistant. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers will serve as captain for the team of: Pau Gasol (Chicago), Marc Gasol and Jeff Green (Memphis), Bradley Beal (Washington), Kenneth Faried (Denver), Marcus Smart and Evan Turner (Boston) and Nikola Vucevic (Orlando).
Team Africa features players born in Africa or second-generation Africans. Their roster is: Timberwolves standout Gorgui Dieng, Captain Luol Deng (Miami), Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland), Nicolas Batum (Charlotte), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee), Bismack Biyombo (Toronto), Boris Diaw (San Antonio), Festus Ezeli (Golden State), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City) and Luc Mbah a Moute (Sacramento).
Ibaka will not play because of injury.
The game will be held after the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders camp and televised live on ESPN. Commissioner Adam Silver, NBA Global Ambassador Dikembe Mutombo of Congo and NBA Africa Ambassador Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria also will participate.
More than 35 players from Africa have been on NBA rosters since Olajuwon was drafted No. 1 by Houston in 1984.