Zamalek of Egypt defeated Tunisian side US Monastir 76 – 63 to win the inaugural Basketball Africa League Championship at Kigali Arena in Rwanda on Sunday.
Following the game, the Basketball Africa League (BAL) honoured African NBA stars Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutombo and Manute Bol with the league’s end of season awards in recognition of their NBA careers and off-court contributions.
Zamalek’s Walter Hodge was named the Hakeem Olajuwon BAL Most Valuable Player after leading his team to an undefeated 6-0 record with per game averages of 15.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.0 rebounds.
Anas Osama Mahmoud of Zamalek was named the Dikembe Mutombo BAL Defensive Player of the Year after recording per game averages of 6.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks.
Makrem Ben Romdhane of US Monastir received the Manute Bol BAL Sportsmanship Award for exemplifying the ideals of sportsmanship and camaraderie.
Additional awards are set to be announced on BAL’s social media channels on Monday.
Champions from national leagues in Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia secured their places in the inaugural BAL season, while the remaining six teams, from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda, secured their participation through BAL qualifying tournaments in 2019.
Nigeria’s representatives Rivers Hoopers failed to make it past the group stage, exiting the tournament with one win and two losses.