In order to keep younger players during absence of school, Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) is planning to organise leagues solely meant for developmental players, BBA public relations officer, Abaleng Lesego, has said.
School sports has been suspended since March 2020 for what the Ministry of Basic Education said were “owing to budgetary constraints”.
Two years later, school sports – which is a feeder of players to many national teams and associations – is yet to return, hence BBA deciding to opt for development leagues. “We have discussed with our member affiliates prospects of them expanding into club structures,” Lesego said in an interview. “That will see them coming up with junior boys and girls teams to allow us to introduce development leagues. This is part of our strategic goals. We have to develop young players to remain competitive.”
Lesego added that BBA is aiming for its national league to return during the last week of March. But will the national league have sponsors? She answered: “It’s a work in progress and there are a few prospects at the moment. “We welcome people to point us in the right direction in the name of sports so we can attract sponsors. We are open for any company to come on board and sponsor us and are really eager for partnerships.” BBA is currently running a pre-season league to keep teams active. The finals of the league will take place at Ba Isago University in Gaborone from today (Friday) and end on 27 February.
Regarding ensuring that national basketball teams become more competitive, Lesego noted: “We are in advanced talks with regional federations to bring back the NABOZA tournament where Namibia Botswana and Zambia play against one another at both junior and senior levels outside International Basketball Federation Competitions not only at senior level but also our junior national teams. “We also have a Memorandum of Agreement with Namibia through our National Sports Commission to engage each other and share resources.”