FIBA Vice President Niang encouraged by BBA’s desire to grow local basketball
Botswana Basketball Association BBA President Boineelo Hardy has explained the absence of the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) at the recently held IBF 3×3 Young Lions Finals in Gaborone. 2017, will no doubt go down as a good year in Botswana Sports, this not only as a result of the national teams or local athletes performances in their respective fields of play, but as well as the number of regional and international competitions that the country has been blessed to host this year. Netball Youth World Cup, World Softball/Baseball Congress and the Zone 5 Basketball Club World Cup Qualifiers are only fraction this achievement.
To add to this impressive list, the Africa Basketball Association further entrusted the country with hosting the IBF 3×3 Finals for players under the ages of 18. The competition attracted teams from over nine nations, such as Comoros, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Namibia, Seychelles, and Lesotho, in mention of just a few.
This tournament, which is run under the International Basketball Foundation (IBF), is aimed at promoting and increasing the participation of basketball in small African countries. Africa Basketball President, whose also the Vice President Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) Hamane Niang was also present in the country for the games. He explained that, though there was no bidding process for the hosting of the competition, Botswana was specifically given the rights to host as result of their undying commitment in the sport.
Niang also carried that they have particularly been impressed with BBA’s desire to grow as federation, as they have been regularly attending most of the FIBA and Africa Basketball meetings. Despite the FIBA Vice President speaking very highly of local basketball, it came as a surprise that the BNSC were nowhere to be found for this event. However, BBA, through their President, Hardy has explained their absence.
“The BNSC is involved, and a lot of things behind the scenes were done mostly through their support, especially issues to deal with VISAs and a lot of logistical preparations. The reason why they are not in is because, as we might be aware, the preparations for the Botswana Games are currently on going, so most of the relevant officials are held up, but they are involved,” explained Hardy. She went on to reveal that, though they as an association were forced to take most of the expenses such as accommodation and transport of teams in the Zone 5 World Cup Qualifiers, this time the IBF has taken a large chunk of the costs.
“In terms of the financing, the International Basketball Foundation (IBF), took care of costs going a long way, unlike the other tournaments that we held, they took care of the accommodation and transportation for all the teams. We have a 3×3 court that was bought by the IBF, and all the kits were also done by the IBF,” she ended. Meanwhile, ahead of the games, the BBA in partnership with the IBF also held life skills workshops for benefit the development of players on and off the court.