NBA stars come to Botswana

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 30 August 2016   |   By Staff Writer
Pallab Sarkar and Thipe Pallab Sarkar and Thipe

National Basketball Association (NBA) stars are in Botswana for the on-going Giants of Africa Basketball Camp. The three-day camp, which is organised by Quess Capital (QS) in association with Botswana Basketball Association (BAA), runs from August 27 to 29. The NBA stars are however not here to play but to train locals. Giants of Africa is a non-profit foundation created by Masai Ujiri, President of NBA Toronto Raptors, to promote basketball in Africa by bringing NBA coaches to train and develop young basketball players and national coaches. The Project Manager Pallab Sarkar said the camp is Giants of Africa’s initiative to develop and empower youth as well as promote the growth of basketball in Botswana. This is a youth development and empowerment initiative aimed at promoting basketball in Botswana.

Addressing the media on Friday, Sarkar said their main mission is to nurture talent in Botswana. He said their main aim is to see the country‘s basketball team playing at the 2024 Olympics. The camp is attended by 50 young players from all over the country and six coaches. “This is a great opportunity for Batswana to shine and make it in basketball. This coaching programme is already successful in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya & Rwanda and we are pleased to bring it to Botswana for the very first time! It also offers good opportunities to benefit from scholarships for a quality education in North America,” said Sarkar. The Camp, which is hosted at University of Botswana (UB) Indoor Arena, is supported by the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture and Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC). The proceedings are open for the general public and there will be exhibition games throughout the three days. 

BAA Technical Director Mothusi Thipe acknowledged the initiative, saying it will go a long way in supplementing what they have been trying to do as the association. Thipe said for effective results continuous camps will have to be conducted. He said development is their main objective at BAA and they are taking it seriously. “We have very organised development programmes going on to nurture players. Our development centre is helping us and results are coming out since some of the players who are in this camp came from the centre,” he said.