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HomeEditors Picks2X NBA All-Star Joakim Noah takes investment in African basketball to Durban

2X NBA All-Star Joakim Noah takes investment in African basketball to Durban

Former NBA Star Two-time NBA All-Star Joakim Noah travelled all the way from the US to Durban, South Africa for the unveiling of Hennessy’s third 'In The Paint' basketball court installation in Florida Road.

Former NBA star Joakim Noah and local artist Sphephelo Mnguni came together on Thursday June 13 (2024) for the unveiling of ‘Hennessy’s In The Paint basketball court installation in Durban, South Africa.

The unveiling marks the world leading cognac brand’s third installation of this kind in South Africa, with the first court unveiled at the Johannesburg Zoo Lake in March 2022 with artist R!OT (Sindiso Nyoni). It was followed by Ernest Oppenheimer Park in inner Joburg with artist African Ginger (Seth Pimentel) in November 2023.

“Giving back to communities is part of who I am. So partnering with Hennessy to become a Global Ambassador for In The Paint happened very organically,” Noah said of his involvement, adding: “It combines a few of my biggest passions – basketball, art, and philanthropy. With Hennessy, I get to see my passions being played out in Africa, where my family ties are, and across the world. I couldn’t be more proud to be an ambassador for such a great initiative.”

Known for his basketball prowess on the court during his time with the Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers and the New York Knicks, Noah’s first ‘In The Paint’ deal with Hennessy was sealed in 2021 – with the unveiling in Lagos, Nigeria.

Local ‘In The Paint’ ambassador artist Sphephelo Mnguni and global representative Joakim Noah.

The project, according to Moët Hennessy Southern Africa marketing director David White, tells Hennessy’s story of “bringing together the spirit of basketball with urban culture in a uniquely Durban setting,” he said, adding that it’s “hopefully the first of many more nationwide”.

For the latest installment, Hennessy partnered with local contemporary artist Sphephelelo Mguni to bring his artistic vision to life. The court’s artistic impression was inspired by the unique culture of Durban, its sense of community and how it unites individuals from all walks of life, he said.

“To me, this piece represents pride, bravery, and Ubuntu. While the leopard print represents the Zulu culture, the blue background depicts the city of Durban—a place that heralds a new age of style, innovation, and creativity. The imagery is my idea of how the game of basketball and the culture that surrounds it blend together,” Mnguni added.

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Editor's Desk
Curated by editor-in-chief, Tankiso Komane, this special collection of articles from the Editor's Desk unpacks topics of the day, including commentary, in-depth analysis and partner content.
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