The 2023 Basketball Africa League playoffs are just days away from tipoff in Kigali and a number of international celebrities have already confirmed their attendance for the star-studded basketball show which will take place at BK Arena from May 20-27 . The weeklong showpiece will see eight African basketball teams, including local side Rwanda Energy Group (REG), tussle it out on the court to establish this year’s champions. Times Sport presents you some of the celebrities expected in the country for the BAL. Forest Whitaker Forest Steven Whitaker is an American actor, filmmaker, and activist. He is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a British Academy Film Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He is the CEO of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI), a non-profit organization that aims at promoting the values of peace, reconciliation and social development within communities that have been impacted by conflict and violence. ALSO READ: Dambisa Moyo, Whitaker join NBA Africa strategic investors Joakim Noah Joakim Noah is a 13-year NBA veteran, two-time NBA All-Star, 2014 1st team all-NBA center and Defensive Player of the Year, and the 2015 winner of the J. Walker Kennedy award for citizenship. Upon his retirement, he invested in NBA Africa and has since been named a BAL ambassador, highlighting his vision and commitment to helping grow the sport across the continent. He will be coming to Kigali for the second time in a row, having attended the second edition in 2022. Ian Mahinmi Ian Mahinmi is a former French professional basketball player. At 2.1m and 250 Ib (114kg), he played the center position and was selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs. Mahinmi made his impression on international scouts at the 2004 Under-18 European Championships in Zaragoza, Spain. It was there that he first caught the attention of international scouts, including San Antonio Spurs scout Sam Presti. After playing with the French national team he signed his first contract with the club STB Le Havre (France). He played three seasons with Le Havre, averaging 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 2005–06 Baron Davis Davis is an American former professional basketball player who is a studio analyst for the NBA on TNT. He was a two-time NBA All-Star, made the All-NBA Third Team in 2004, and twice led the NBA in steals. He was drafted with the third overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He also played in the NBA for the New Orleans Hornets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks. Davis played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins, earning All-American honors before turning professional after his sophomore year. He was a star high school player while at Crossroads School. Davis holds the NBA's career playoff record for steals per game with an average of 2.28 over 50 games.