When the NBA's Basketball Africa League season tipped off on May 16, two former S.C. State Bulldog teammates, Adama Adams and Matthew Hezekiah, were on rosters.
Guard Adams and center Hezekiah played at S.C. State in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
The BAL has 12 club teams from across Africa playing a total of 26 games, culminating with the first BAL Finals on May 30.
A partnership between the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the NBA, BAL builds on the foundation of club competitions FIBA has organized in Africa and marks the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America.
The national champions from Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia automatically qualified for the inaugural season. The remaining six teams, which come from Algeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique and Rwanda, secured their spot through BAL qualifying tournaments in late 2019.
BAL rosters feature 154 players from 24 countries across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. Nine players bring NBA G League experience to the BAL, including a league-high three on the Rivers Hoopers: Robert Christopher Daniels, Taren Sullivan and Ben Uzoh, the first former NBA player on a BAL roster.
BAL teams feature a combined 19 players who previously participated in Basketball Without Borders Africa, the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program.
Hezekiah most recently played for Forces Armées et Police. In the BAL, he has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds a game.
At S.C. State, he averaged 12.2 points, 6 rebounds and 0.5 assists per game in 17 games during 2013-14. He set his season-high with 26 points in 32 minutes against the Florida A&M Rattlers on Jan. 18, 2014.
Adams is from Senegal and plays for As Douanes. At S.C. State, he average 8.9 points, 2.05 rebounds and 2.8 assists.