Barack Obama & More to Feature in Basketball Africa League Doc


Former U.S. President Barack Obama, rapper J. Cole and NBA star Stephen Curry, among others, are set to feature in the new documentary series Origin: The Story of the Basketball Africa League.

The documentary delves into the NBA’s new Basketball Africa League (BAL). Obama, a strategic partner of NBA Africa, explains the importance of sports to the African continent’s future and discusses his involvement in the development of the continent post-presidency.

More celebrities, including the NBA’s Joakim Noah, Nigerian-born Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri, Cameroonian NBA star Pascal Siakam and NBA commissioner Adam Silver, also feature.

Origin: The Story of the Basketball Africa League, from Passenger and Fremantle, is executive produced, written and co-directed by Richard Brown (True Detective, Catch-22, Outlaw King, This England), along with South African director Tebogo Malope (Queen Sono).

Fremantle is handling international distribution for the series.

Brown and Malope jointly commented: “From the beginning, it was clear that the launch of a pan-African sports League consisting of 12 teams from 12 countries across the most diverse continent in the world—competing to be the historic first ever champions—presented an exciting opportunity for a thrilling documentary series. Then, the reality superseded all expectations, as we were able to dive deeply into the stories of some fascinating and extraordinary characters, from players and coaches to the visionaries behind the project—charting many of the obstacles that had to be overcome along the way. It seems clear that the future is bright for the BAL, and the league will go from strength to strength. We hope to be there to capture the story as it continues to unfold.”

Noah added: “This is the beginning of something very special; that the NBA had the belief to invest in the vision of a profound leader such as Amadou Gallo Fall speaks volumes about where Africa is and where it is headed. You can feel the vitality and energy every time you set foot on the continent. I couldn’t be more excited for the world to see this beautiful documentary series Origin and experience for themselves what’s happening in Africa; this is so much bigger than just basketball.”