- In their bid to effectively execute the Junior NBA program locally
- Jagdish Shah pledges P25 000 towards the program
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is looking for bearable partnerships in Botswana in their efforts to effectively enrol its Junior (Jr.) NBA program (league), NBA Senior Manager New Business Development for Africa Kwame Mdaka, has revealed.
Mdaka made the revelations during a meeting held by the Embassy of USA, Botswana Basketball Association and NBA to discuss the opportunity to sponsor the Jr. NBA youth program in Botswana. “We want the program to be in Botswana for as long as it can so it’s important we partner with individuals or corporations with long term visions,” he said.
Mdaka believes they are headed in the right direction and the program will officially kick-start in Botswana soon, “we don’t want it to drag and take long to commence.” Kwame said. The Jr. NBA program seeks to run a youth league that will feature 30 teams per gender from local schools and clubs, the teams are to be made up of individuals under the age of 14. However according to Mdaka the age factor is dependent on partners as in other countries the age limit is 16 years.
The Jr. NBA program was launched in Africa in 2016 and it is a global youth basketball participation program for boys and girls. It is aimed at teaching the fundamental skills and core values of Basketball at grassroots level in an effort to grown and improve the youth basketball experience for players, coaches and parents.
“We believe the program can be well executed in Botswana. We need kids to play Basketball as we want to change their lives. We want to build the communities through basketball and we want to give the young boys and girls an opportunity to something that they will thrive with in the future,” Mdaka shared. “We are not necessarily scouts as many people think but we are aimed at giving the children an opportunity to turn into future icons.”
“ our mandate as the association is to develop of which we are delighted to have NBA on board. By helping each other we will be able to take local basketball further,” said BBA Secretary General Thatayaone Kgwadi
The meeting saw local business tycoon and Township Rollers FC president be the first local to pledge towards the program, he offered P 25 000.
The Jr. NBA program is already running in other African countries like South Africa, Cameroon and Uganda just to mention but a few. Last year saw the Africa and Middle East select U 14 teams of both boys and girls partake at the Jr. NBA World Championships. The first-of-its kind, the global youth basketball tournament took place from the 7th until the 12th of August 2018 in Orlando, USA and featured 32 of the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls teams from around the world. The boys’ team finished second at the Championships after being walloped by the USA central team 60-50 in the finals.