The NBA has announced that Victor Williams will be NBA Africa’s first CEO following the company’s plan to grow its popularity in the continent.

In the newly-created role Williams will oversee all of the league’s basketball and business development initiatives in Africa whilst also developing the NBA’s relationship with the continent through grassroots development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and more.

Williams commented: “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.”

The appointment, which was announced via NBA commissioner Adam Silver, will see Williams be based in the league’s Johannesburg office. Additionally the former investment banking executive will report to NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum.

For the last five years, Williams served as the executive head of corporate and investment banking (CIB) for Africa regions at Standard Bank Group, whilst also having roles with Wells Fargo Securities, as a managing director, and Goldman Sachs, where he was the vice president of investment banking.

“Adding an executive of Victor’s caliber and experience is an important step in our continued efforts to grow basketball across the continent,” added Silver.

“We look forward to Victor leading NBA Africa’s operations and helping to accelerate the use of sports as an economic engine across Africa.”