After a two year break, the Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) is preparing for the Basketball league games. Speaking to WeekendSport, Botswana Basketball Association Chairman, Peter Ubakar said they are currently looking for a venue as well as the date for the league games. He however said they are anticipating the league to start sometime in March 2022.
Ubakar highlighted that Basketball league is the only National league in Botswana that is affiliating with the BBA and recognized by the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC). He said the preparations for the league are going well. Ubakar said as a way of preparing players for the league, they are currently having their preseason games. He said the games began on 18 February 2022 and will an end on 27 February 2022.
He pointed out that, “we are at this stage looking for venues for our league and that has been daunting task due to very few courts in the country. The league is a National and we have teams across the country, we have teams in Gaborone, Francistown, Selebe Phikwe, Palapye and Mahalapye. We even have refugee team that also wants to join the league. Players are really excited and looking forward to the league after a very long break.”
Ubakar said as a way of recruiting new and fresh players into the sport they have tasked teams to look for fresh talent. He said they are also encouraged teams to be involved in the adopt a school program, so that they the program can help them identify players.
He pointed out that, “when teams need our help we assisting them in facilitating the connections between them and the schools. We also engage schools through Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) tournaments, but challenge is that they have been suspended due to the pandemic. So, it has been difficult to recruit through the school level.”
Ubakar emphasized that different teams are responsible for retaining their players. He said they need to ensure that the environment is conducive for players so that the players will stay and thrive in their teams. Ubakar highlighted that players are only allowed to move to different teams during the open window in the mid-season break.
Ubakar encouraged players to be ready and prepare for the league because the games will be held every weekend. He said if games will be held every weekend it would mean that they will be traveling every weekend, so they have to be ready and prepared physically and psychologically. He emphasized that Covid-19 protocol will be observed during the league games.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.