Poor officiating, excessive alcohol drinking by players at games, and trading of disparaging comments from team officials and executive members in the social media, are all hallmarks of unprofessionalism of the local basketball league. Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) President Kabo Khama said this at the weekend during the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).
“To those that hold positions of power in the association and affiliates’ committees and structures, remember that you have a huge responsibility to the sport. Even as you hold multiple roles in the association remember integrity, honesty, transparency and fairness are the qualities that you must internalise,” Khama told the attendees.
He spoke against negative sentiments which are couched under the guise of ‘expressing passion and love for the game’. He said team officials must remain humble and professional instead of ranting on the social media when they grievances. The BBA president said they must follow the right channels in voicing their grievances.
Khama said all the unprofessional antics by those who should be the game’s role models brings negativity to the game and seldom brings solutions.
He also cited stories of biased officiating and indisciplined players, saying they are killing the sport.
Khama said unprofessionalism is rife in the local league and is something they should put checks and balances on.” He said BBA will only be taken as seriously as it takes itself.
Khama added that lack of sponsorship for the game continues to worry the association.
If the association is to be competitive in this front, it must make the game more attractive, more vibrant, and more appealing to spectators as well as prospective sponsors, he said.
The BBA president attributed Botswana’s embarrassing display at the just ended Zone VI just ended Under 16 Afro-basketball games in Mozambique on the poor state of development structures and effectiveness of programmes at grassroots level. “We must come up with new strategies to improve the level of coaching at grassroots level,” he said.
Khama also laid into the stature of Botswana’s players, saying if BBA had aspirations of success in this sport it would deliberately target players with the requisite physique.
He advised that BBA must develop a philosophy that will exploit strengths and lesson their weaknesses.
Basketball is known world-wide and in the US where it is popular as a favourite of women players. But the local league has less female representation with only six competing teams in the league dominated by men.
Khama said although women are the biggest supporters and most passionate players, they remain outsiders and the imbalance is clear.
He said growing the women’s game is a challenge that all must rise to. Lastly Khama reminded the attendees that Botswana was due to host the Africa Youth Games in 2014.
He said these games are to be embraced and the basketball fraternity should ready itself to take part in making these games a success.
Khama added that BBA will try to organise a few tournaments to help prepare the team for the games. Khama said the games should be seen as an opportunity to showcase the thrill and excitement of basketball.