Basketball ready to shoot for the stars

ACTION PACT…..Local basketball fans can look forward to an action – pact 2024.

COMPLACENCY and inactivity are two words not to be entertained by the Namibia Basketball Federation (NBF) this year, as the executive plans to shoot for the stars.

Speaking to Desert Radio recently, NBF president Nigel Mubita said 2024 will be an action – packed year, with their sights set on the Africa Basketball League (ABL).

Mubita said Namibia tested the waters last November, when the national teams took part in the ABL in Botswana.

“Our teams did great, but they only faulted on fitness and at the end of the game, did not have enough legs to make the right decisions.

“We have a lot happening, since we learned a lot and realised that we have to improve going forward.”

Mubita said the intention this year is to have both the female and male senior teams making inroads in the ABL to improve on competency and not just add numbers by mere participation.

“Why I always stress female and male teams, is because you can never ever forget our sisters in the process of pushing equality and fair opportunities for both genders,” said Mubita. “With basketball, we are towing the rope and making sure we pull through and make basketball a success story going forward.”

“We are really excited and the sky is certainly the limit.”

As for the local calendar, Mubita said it will be one of the most action– packed in a long time, as they look forward to the First National Bank (FNB) national league semi-final and final clashes next month.

Mubita said 11 regions took part in the maiden FNB national tournament held at Oshakati, where eight teams qualified for the upcoming semi and final showdown in Windhoek.

“I send a big shout-out to FNB for coming on board and helping basketball move forward.

We will have teams competing for the top honours of the FNB national basketball tournament and witness the crowning of the 2023 champions.”

The second edition of the FNB national basketball tournament is pencilled for later this year, as more regions are expected to take part. “I am really excited about that.

Besides that, we are going to have teams competing internationally and as Namibians, we must step up our game and start competing seriously and be counted among the best.”

NABOZA TOURNAMENT

Mubita said for the first time, there will be a basketball tournament to be contested by hosts Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, with the invitation also extended to Zimbabwe, who are yet to confirm participation. He said the date is yet to be confirmed and the national teams will soon start with preparation for the basketball tournament in Windhoek. As for the schools basketball leagues, Mubita said that it is important for children to be exposed to the sport at a younger age so that when getting selected for junior and eventually senior teams, they can be competitive.

Interestingly for the young lads, Namibia will host the International Basketball Federation under-16 qualifiers towards the end of the year.

He said for basketball to be one of the sport codes to compete in the Namibia Annual Sport Awards, they need the corporate sector to come on board so that local basketball can be strengthe ned and have more national teams competing internationally.

He thanked Sanlam Namibia for the 3×3 half court tournament held at Keetmanshoop, which was a huge success. During the opening of the maiden FNB national basketball league, the banking institution announced a sponsorship commitment of N$900 000 for the next three years, with an annual amount of N$300 000.

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