The National Basketball Association has appointed investment banking executive Victor Williams to the newly-created role of chief executive of NBA Africa.
Williams will assume his new position on 17 August and will be based in the league’s Johannesburg office, reporting to NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum.
Announcing his appointment, the NBA said that Williams will “oversee the league’s basketball and business development initiatives in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball and the NBA across the continent through grassroots development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and more”.
He joins the NBA from Standard Bank Group, where he was executive head of corporate and investment banking, Africa regions. Before arriving at Standard Bank Group in 2011, he worked at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was a managing director focused on mergers and acquisitions.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said: “Adding an executive of Victor’s calibre and experience is an important step in our continued efforts to grow basketball across the continent. We look forward to Victor leading NBA Africa’s operations and helping to accelerate the use of sports as an economic engine across Africa.”
Williams (pictured) remarked: “Becoming CEO of NBA Africa is a compelling opportunity to join the NBA – a widely-respected and admired, globally-oriented sports enterprise.
“It allows me to blend my professional experience building businesses in Africa with my passion for the sport of basketball. I look forward to working with our colleagues in Johannesburg and Dakar to help grow basketball’s commercial and social impact in Africa and on the world stage.”
A dual citizen of Sierra Leone and the US, Williams also worked as vice-president of investment banking at Goldman Sachs in New York, where he provided strategic guidance to Fortune 500 companies in all aspects of merger and financing analysis and execution.
In March, the NBA and the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) delayed the start of the new Basketball Africa League due to the coronavirus outbreak. The new pro basketball league, encompassing a dozen teams across the African continent, had been scheduled to start play on March 13 in Dakar, Senegal.