Academy Award-winning actor and social activist Forest Whitaker was recently announced as a strategic investor in NBA Africa. The 60-year-old joins other NBA Africa strategic investors including former NBA players Luol Deng (South Sudan) and Dikembe Mutumbo (the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Former U.S. President Barack Obama was also named as a strategic partner in July.
NBA Africa is officially in charge of NBA’s businesses in Africa. This includes the Basketball Africa League(BAL), which is a professional competition featuring 12 club teams from 12 African countries. The second season is scheduled to start in March next year.
“I’m thrilled to become a strategic investor in NBA Africa as it plans to grow basketball’s presence across the continent,” Whitaker said in a statement.
“The game of basketball is incredibly inspirational, and my decade working in Africa has shown me how sports can be a transformative method of helping to foster peace, as well as an economic engine for socioeconomic development in areas of conflict. I deeply believe in the league’s commitment to youth empowerment and am so excited to work alongside the NBA Africa family.”
A seasoned actor, director, and producer, Whitaker is widely known for his research and intensive study work on some of his movies. The award-winning actor branched into producing and directing in the 1990s with his directorial debut in a grim film about inner-city gun violence, Strapped, for HBO in 1993. Since then, Forest has flourished, directing some of the most successful Hollywood movies.