Basketball Africa League (BAL) Player Salaries: Average Salary, MAX., Minimum, Highest-Paid Players and more! (Players’ Survey - Original Research, 2022)
Basketball Africa League Player Salaries [Chart]
Player Salary Ranges
US$1,500 - $35,000/per month
Most Commonly Reported Player Salary (Imports)
US$7,000 - $15,000/mth
Most Commonly Reported Player Salary (African imports)
US$4,000 - $9,000/mth
MAX Player Salary
Lowest Reported Salary
Source : Josecolorado.com, Professional Basketball Players Survey Data 
Basketball Africa League Salary
The Basketball Africa League (BAL) is by far the highest-paying overseas basketball league in Africa with players typically making US$4,000 - $7,000/per month.
The best players will MAX out at roughly US$35,000/per month.
Think of BAL like the EuroLeague.
It’s a competition of the best pro teams in the entire continent of Africa - as the EuroLeague is in Europe.
Because of that salaries will be inflated.
Top clubs - in any continent - will usually have the biggest budgets.
That’s why the EuroLeague has the highest salaries in Europe.
And its the same deal with the Basketball Champions League of Americas.
So take that as you will.
I’ve been covering overseas basketball leagues throughout the world for years now and based on that, BAL is defined as a High-Elite Pay-Grade League.
And it’s just getting started.
So let’s unpack what BAL has to offer for overseas basketball players.
Basketball Africa league 2022
Due to its partnership with the NBA, the Basketball Africa League (BAL) has established itself as a one-of-its-kind league in Africa in both pay and competition.
Simply put: There is no other league like it in the continent.
And the money - and sponsorships - reflects that.
…But I’ll get to that part in a second.
First: Let’s understand BAL’s structure.
This way we can get a better idea of what salary to expect for each type of player.
In BAL there are five different player categories:
Depending on where YOU fit in on the roster, your pay could vary considerably.
So let’s take a look at the pay grade for each.
How much do BAL basketball players make
In general, foreigners and African imports will be the highest-paid players in the Basketball Africa League (BAL) on every team.
Generally these salaries will hover around US$5,000 - $12,000/per month.
Basketball Africa League (BAL) payment structure
Average salary (per month)
$7,000 - $15,000/mth
$4,000 - $9,000/mth
$1,500 – $3,000/mth
*All figures are on a per-month basis (USD).
Imports getting the most most money shouldn’t come as a surprise though.
This is almost always the case as I’ve written about previously.
In overseas basketball, foreigners are depended on to be the best players frequently.
BAL is no different.
With that comes big responsibility.
But even bigger money.
Yet the distinction between import/foreigner and “African import'“ can get murky at times in BAL.
So let me explain on that next.
how much do african import players get paid in basketball africa league
On certain occasions in the Basketball Africa League, African import players can actually be the highest-paid players on the entire team with some salaries coming in at US$25,000/per month!
An “African import” simply means a player who holds a passport(s)/citizenship in an African country other than the team they are playing for.
Egyptian powerhouse, Zamalek, signed former NBA players Ike Diogu and D.J. Strawberry as its African imports.
Diogu is Nigerian.
Strawberry is Cameroonian.
But because Zamalek is an Egyptian pro club, both occupied an African import spot as both have passports to African nations.
Zamalek was able to sign two other foreigners alongside its two NBA players because of this rule!
What a luxury.
Opportunities such as these highlight the reason why passports are so important in your overseas career.
This scenario also emphasizes the HUGE opportunity for Americans in BAL.
So long as you have African ancestry and get your hands on an African passport, you’ll be eligible for the African import spots.
Multiple teams have African imports who are actually American but hold African passports - similar to Strawberry and Diogu.
For that reason, African imports can actually out earn the (American) foreigners sometimes because:
They have a better resume
African import designation allows for more roster flexibility
Long story short:
Get your passport!
J Cole’s basketball career and stats in africa
Perhaps the most famous - and controversial - player in the Basketball Africa League’s history is rapper J.Cole.
The American occupied an import spot for the Rwanda Patriots BCC in 2021, despite averaging 1.67 points per game in 15.2 minutes (3 games total).
Not exactly overwhelming numbers.
But it’s clear the rap legend’s signing was more a publicity stunt than substance.
On the one hand:
Cole’s signing immediately brought international media attention to the league.
The same thing happened when the rap legend signed in Canada.
On the other hand:
It’s easy to see why Cole’s preferential treatment could have angered some players.
The overseas basketball grind is no joke.
There’s a reason why so many players bail after a single season - or year.
It takes a different type of mindset.
A different type of player.
Michael Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover, captures that unbreakable attitude pretty well in his book, Relentless.
Check it out if you’re interested.
All that is to say:
Some hoopers grind for years for an opportunity to get into a league like BAL.
It would be tough to have that dream snatched from them just because a celebrity wanted to have fun for a couple of weeks.
Basketball Africa League (BAL) minimum salary
On the lower end of the pay scale, Basketball Africa League’s minimum salary is approximately US$1,500 - $3,000/per month.
These contracts are almost exclusively given to domestic-born players.
If you don’t fall within the import or African import spots then your money will be significantly lower.
Of course this can change depending on which team you are playing for.
And even domestic players can earn decent salaries if suiting up for the right squad.
highest-paying basketball AFRICA league teams
Of all the Africa Basketball league teams, Zamalek (Egypt), US Monastir (Tunisia) and Cape Town Tigers (South Africa) are the highest-paying clubs.
Perhaps uncoincidentally, they also are the only BAL clubs to have signed former NBA players thus far.
Basketball Africa League Players Who Have Played In The NBA
Former NBA Team(s)
5+ NBA teams
Los Angeles Lakers
US Monastir (2021/22)
New York Knicks
Cape Town Tigers (2022)
Sources with inside knowledge of BAL tell me both US Monastir and Zamalek are notorious for shelling out massive salaries to its top players.
Sometimes they can total $25,000 - $35,000/per month!
But to just look at former NBA players in BAL would be disservice to the league.
This is a high-level tournament from top to bottom.
Not only does Africa have some solid talent.
But - as mentioned - many (high-level) Americans also hold dual citizenship with African countries.
That means teams are STACKED with players who have:
NBA G-League experience
NCAA D1 experience (high - mid- low major)
High-level Overseas Pro experience
BAL qualifiers: WHAT TEAMS ARE IN BAL?
BAL uses a qualification similar system to the EuroLeague as a certain number of teams (6) must earn their spot to the competition. Meanwhile, six other clubs have their spots reserved for them.
In total 12 teams make BAL annually.
That may seem unfair.
But in overseas basketball, the precedent has already been set.
Teams with more money, followings, bigger-names will naturally be favoured.
In the end:
Those clubs = more dollars for BAL, FIBA and the NBA.
The BAL Qualifiers - also known as the Road to BAL - is the qualification system used.
In Africa, there are 30+ teams trying to qualify annually!
12 make it in.
But in reality it is even less because - as mentioned - six clubs have their spots reserved.
In case you were wondering here’s the clubs that have appeared in successive BAL tournaments:
AS Sale (Morocco)
Ferroviario de Maputo (Mozambique)
U.S. Monastir (Tunisia)
Petro de Luanda (Angola)
They appear to be the staples of the league.
Whereas, other teams have come and gone.
But this may change in the future.
Because there are qualifiers prior to BAL, some players will remain with their team for months before the actual competition.
Other players will be signed for just BAL, itself.
So depending on your situation, you could be receiving a quick or long-term pay cheque.
I spoke with one import (American) who was receiving:
All expenses paid
Signed for entire qualifiers + BAL
8-month contract length
That means he took home US$40,000!
Imagine doing that for even 3-5 years.
You could afford the house of your dreams in no time while playing ball.
This is just one of the many perks of overseas basketball.
Players - if smart - can stockpile cash and financially set themselves up for their futures.
I teach players how to do this and much more in my consultations.
There is money to be made outside of the NBA.
Don’t let the naysayers tell you otherwise.
But you must be strategic and - most important - educate yourself.
You can only play basketball for so long.
But while you can:
You’ve got to maximize your earnings because it push you forward in life.
Is BAL part of the NBA
BAL is a joint venture between FIBA and the NBA with the latter providing cash to BAL teams to help recruit top-tier players for the competition.
Evidently the NBA’s influence has helped the league considerably.
Here’s a few examples of how BAL has benefited already in its young existence:
Top-tier talent (former NBA, G-Leaguers)
Jordan, Nike, ESPN partnerships
BAL is the NBA’s first - and to date only - professional league outside of North America.
In other words:
They want BAL to work.
They want it to become profitable.
They want it to become HUGE.
And they are investing money into it, so you know it will have a good chance at succeeding.
This is the NBA - a multi-billion dollar business - we’re talking about here.
Investors/sponsors for Basketball Africa League (BAL)
Even former US President Barack Obama is involved.
That should tell you how much power - and money - is behind this league.
Players I’ve spoken with are also in agreement about something else:
BAL’s player treatment is A+.
Here were a few of the perks:
Hotel rooms (shared with other players)
Meals provided (restaurants, All-You-Can-Eat-Buffets)
Resorts for relaxation
Jordan gear (jerseys, shoes)
Social media coverage
ESPN production game film
But all of this is only possible because the NBA is backing the league.
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Which African Country is best in basketball
When it comes to African Basketball, historically Angola has been the most successful nation (11 AfroBasket titles).
But currently Nigeria must be regarded as the top African nation with its surging young core of NBA-level players.
And when it comes to BAL:
Zamalek - from Egypt - won the first edition.
And US Monastir - from Tunisia - won the second.
Senegal - with five AfroBasket championships - must also be considered.
In other words:
Multiple African countries are doing great things!
In my opinion, the top African nation must be Nigeria.
Consider the Nigerians just pulled off one of the greatest upsets in FIBA history against Team USA!
And this wasn’t against Team USA’s D-Team either.
Team USA had:
For its part:
For the first-time ever, Nigeria could field an entire team of NBA players with hoopers such as:
And their confidence together will only continue to grow and build over time.
In its brief history, the Basketball Africa League (BAL) has emerged as one of the most interesting overseas basketball leagues in the world.
It is the only FIBA-sanctioned league backed by the NBA.
And with that, comes an endless amount of perks that make it the best league in Africa by far.
Overseas basketball players in BAL can expect salaries, great treatment and amazing exposure for their professional careers.
What more could you ask?
Have any questions about the Basketball Africa League (BAL)?