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Mandela Instrumental in Popularizing Basketball in Africa (print)

EXCERPT

Nelson Mandela, a successful amateur boxer, was a passionate sports fan.

After his release from prison in 1990, the South African anti-apartheid icon envisioned using sports to help inspire his racially torn nation. One of those sports was basketball, which at the time had only limited popularity in South Africa.

Mandela took steps to form a partnership between South Africa and the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA). That bond introduced many people in his country to the game and sparked a rapid growth of basketball throughout Africa.