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NBA names Victor Williams CEO of NBA Africa

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The National Basketball Association (NBA)  today named Victor Williams CEO of NBA Africa, effective Aug. 17, 2020, it was announced by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Williams, an accomplished investment banking executive with extensive experience growing businesses across the U.S. and Africa, will be based in the league’s Johannesburg office and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum.

In this newly-created role, Williams will oversee the league’s basketball and business development initiatives in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball and the NBA across the continent through grassroots development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and more.

For the last five years, Williams served as the Executive Head of Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), Africa Regions for Standard Bank Group, where he oversaw the strategy, execution and financial performance for Standard Bank’s business with corporate, sovereign and institutional investor clients in 19 countries across sub-Saharan Africa. In this pan-continental role, Williams was responsible for growing a wide range of business lines across Africa, including global markets, investment banking and transactional products and services, and helped lead Standard Bank’s expansion into Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

“Adding an executive of Victor’s caliber and experience is an important step in our continued efforts to grow basketball across the continent,” said Silver. “We look forward to Victor leading NBA Africa’s operations and helping to accelerate the use of sports as an economic engine across Africa.”

“Becoming CEO of NBA Africa is a compelling opportunity to join the NBA – a widely-respected and admired, globally-oriented sports enterprise,” said Williams. “It allows me to blend my professional experience building businesses in Africa with my passion for the sport of basketball. I look forward to working with our colleagues in Johannesburg and Dakar to help grow basketball’s commercial and social impact in Africa and on the world stage.”

Williams joined Standard Bank in 2011 as Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for East Africa and subsequently led Standard Bank’s Corporate and Investment banking business in Nigeria.

Previously, he worked at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was a Managing Director focused on mergers and acquisitions. In this role, he executed more than $5 billion in merger and acquisition transactions and advised senior executives and boards of directors of corporate and private equity firms on mergers, divestitures, acquisitions, joint ventures, recapitalizations and corporate defense.

Prior to Wells Fargo Securities, Williams was Vice President of Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs in New York City, where he provided strategic guidance to Fortune 500 companies in all aspects of merger and financing analysis and execution.

Williams, a dual citizen of Sierra Leone and the U.S., holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and bachelor’s degrees in applied math and economics from Brown University. He is a member of Harvard Business School’s Africa Advisory Board and has also served on the boards of publicly-listed companies and non-profit organizations in the U.S., Nigeria and Kenya.

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SPORTS

NBA announces Team Rosters for Season Restart

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The NBA  announced today the restart rosters for the 22 teams participating in the resumption of the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Each team’s roster as of today is attached.

Download Restart Rosters document: https://bit.ly/3hfIF22

The only players eligible to participate in the remainder of the season are those listed in the attached rosters or those who are signed later as substitute players in accordance with NBA rules.

The 2019-20 NBA season will resume on Thursday, July 30. From July 22-28, each participating team will play three intersquad scrimmages in final preparation for the season restart.

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SPORTS

Liverpool open talks with reps of Victor Osimhen on possible Anfield move

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Toppers of the English Premier League, Liverpool have reportedly opened talks with the camp of Lille striker, Victor Osimhen on a possible signing of the Nigerian.

According to Le10sport, the UEFA Champions League holders, has now opened discussions with Osimhen’s representatives in a bid to lure the Nigerian international to Anfield.

The French newspaper reports that the Premier League leaders are “laying the foundations” for an opening contract proposal that could see Osimhen join the Reds this summer.

Liverpool will have to battle Chelsea and Manchester United for Osimhen’s signature. Osimhen’s contract with Lille will expire at the end of the 2023-2024 season. The 21-year-old is expected to cost around £70million.

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Football

AFFC lauds Heritage Bank on youth, entertainment devt

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African Freestyle Football (AFFC) Championship 2019 in collaboration with World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) have commended Heritage Bank Plc for its pivotal role in enhancing youth development and engendering the Nigeria’s entertainment space on the world’s stage.

The 2019 African Freestyle Football Championship ended on a high note, with defending champion Abdul Titi Kone of Cote d’Ivoire emerging as the African Champion once again. This event marked the 2nd edition of the African Championship and the 3rd annual edition of the Nigerian Championship hosted by Feet ‘n’ Tricks International Limited. The final was a repeat of the 2018 championship, as Kone again defeated Egypt’s Yousef Mohamad just as he did in last year’s final while Ashley Mhkize of South Africa placed third.

In the female category, Evelyn Okafor (Nigeria), Hadhara Charles (Tanzania) and Augustina Unamba (Nigeria) placed first, second and third respectively.

This year’s edition accommodated at least 30 African countries that participated at the championship.

The Chairman of AFFC, Valentine Ozigbo, who commended bank for being at the forefront of promoting freestyle football for the past two years, said Heritage Bank is “always very innovative and supportive to the cause of entertainment and youth development.

According to him, these achievements would have been impossible without the extensive support of the official bankers (Heritage Bank) for the championship for two years running.

Speaking further, Ozigbo hinted, “since inception, Feet ‘n’ Tricks has been committed to promoting freestyle football talent to stardom and we haven’t relented. Through this platform, we have seen talented freestylers get a head start in life, travel to exciting places and represent our beloved continent doing what they know how to do best.”

The MD/CEO, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the bank has strong desire towards developing and positioning youths to become world-class citizens equipped and ready to be absorbed into an increasing competitive professional skills and endeavours.

Sekibo, who was represented by an Executive Director, Jude Monye advised the youths who were participants to adopt strong positive character to enable them take advantage of the platform being presented to them.

“One of the reasons why we chose, as an organization, to support the freestyle championship is to enhance youth development in sport and entertainment, which will empower them play vital roles in the socio-economic development of the country and help curb the high level of unemployment,” he stressed.

According to Sekibo, the drive to support youths seeks to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.
It is against the backdrop of the competition that Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, promised to give more support to the entertaining part of football.

“We need to encourage this entertaining part of football because what they are doing here is great. Freestyle is quite interesting, and I am happy with what I have seen so far.

“With this project, a goal has been achieved. I also want more ladies to come out and do freestyle football because it is highly entertaining and competitive.

“I will see to how we can give more support to freestyle football in the future,”he said.

Congratulating the Feet n Tricks team, Daniel Wood, Co-founder and Head of Global Partnerships, World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) said, “Feet n Tricks have proven that they can produce world class events and we are so excited to be extending our partnership. We are fully committed to creating opportunities for young people and this event is to be the focus point for our sport in the continent of Africa.”

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