Two NBA Academy Women’s Program Participants receive Scholarships to attend SEED Academy

PUBLISHED: Thu, 10 Dec 2020 11:29:28 GMT

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) ( and SEED Project ( (Sports for Education and Economic Development), a non-profit organization in Thiès, Senegal that uses basketball as a platform to engage youth in academic, athletic and leadership programs, announced today that two elite female athletes from the NBA Academy Women’s Program ( have received scholarships to attend SEED Academy in Thiès.

Aminata Tal (Senegal) and Sira Thienou (Mali) – who joined SEED Academy last month – were among top prospects from across the continent to participate in the 2019 NBA Academy Women’s Program camp at NBA Academy Africa ( in Saly and were awarded scholarships in recognition of their leadership on-and-off the court.  At SEED Academy, Tal and Thienou will receive high-level basketball training, tutoring, ESL training, life-skills development and academic and career guidance to help them prepare for the next step in their basketball and educational journeys. 

“We are proud to partner with SEED Academy on this initiative, which continues the great momentum we are seeing for young women across the continent who are using the game of basketball to maximize their potential as players and leaders,” said 2003 WNBA Champion and NBA Academy Africa Women’s Program Lead, Astou Ndiaye.  “Aminata and Sira are promising young women who excel on-and-off the court, and we hope this opportunity will help serve as a pathway to their future success.”   

“The NBA Academy Women’s Program aims to provide basketball and leadership development opportunities for high-performing young women from across the continent,” said NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams.  “We are excited to see Aminata and Sira take the next step in their basketball journey, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with SEED Project to expand and enhance our youth basketball development efforts in Africa.”

“We are thrilled to have Aminata and Sira join our group of female student-athletes at SEED Academy in Thiès,” said SEED Project President Joe Lopez.  “Both prospects showcased their tremendous talent, passion for the game of basketball and leadership during the last NBA Academy Africa Women’s camp, and coupled with their drive to perform in school, I have no doubt that they will both add great value to the SEED Academy girls program.”

This marks the first time the NBA Academy Women’s Program has provided scholarships to African female athletes.  The initiative is part of NBA Academy Africa and SEED Project’s commitment to support elite African female athletes and use the transformative power of basketball to provide them with high-level basketball training and education. 

NBA Academy Africa is an elite basketball training center in Saly, Senegal for the top male prospects from throughout Africa and the first of its kind on the continent.  Since the academy opened in 2018, NBA Academy Africa has hosted three NBA Academy Women’s Program camps.  Nine NBA Academy Africa and NBA Academy Africa Women’s program participants have committed to NCAA Division-1 schools in the U.S.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Basketball Association (NBA).

Media Contacts: Pawel Weszka NBA Africa +27 10 007 2666

Begay Downes-Thomas SEED Project +221 78 292 93 44

About NBA Academy: NBA Academy ( is an elite basketball development initiative that provides top high school-age prospects from outside the U.S. with a holistic approach to player development.  The NBA Academy program includes six academies across Australia, China, India, Mexico and Senegal for top prospects from their respective countries and continents.  In March 2018, the NBA launched the NBA Academy Women’s Program, a series of basketball development camps for top female prospects from outside the U.S at the league’s academies.  Since then, NBA Academy Women’s Program camps have been held in China, India, Mexico and Senegal.  42 NBA Academy participants have committed to NCAA Division-1 schools and seven participants have signed professional contracts.  Find out more about the NBA Academy program at, on Twitter @NBAAcademyPR ( and on Instagram (NBAAcademy) (

About SEED Project: The Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEED) Project ( is an international non-government organization that believes that every youth in Africa deserves the right to be supported so they can reach their full potential.  Using sport as a catalyst, SEED Project exists to educate, equip, and empower youth from across Africa with the right tools so that they, in turn, can become active actors of development on the African continent.  Its SEED Academy is based in Thiès Senegal, serving 40 high-school boys and girls with boarding and after school athletic, academic and leadership programs in accordance with the principles of education, life skills and responsible citizenship.  The SEED Project Senegal reaches approximately 2,000 youth per year, ages 6 to 19.  Follow SEED Project on: Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram ( and LinkedIn (

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