Leg­end en­dorses lo­cal bas­ket­ball

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

fed­er­a­tion of in­ter­na­tional Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tions (fiba) ad­vi­sor, lubomir Kotleba, says he is im­pressed with the way bas­ket­ball is be­ing ad­min­is­tered in le­sotho.

The Slo­vak ar­rived in the coun­try on Sun­day and left yes­ter­day af­ter vis­it­ing Mafeteng, Mo­hale’s Hoek, Berea, leribe and Butha-buthe, among other des­ti­na­tions, and get­ting first-hand in­for­ma­tion on the work of the le­sotho Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (LBA).

The re­spected Kotleba started his bas- ket­ball jour­ney as a player in 1968 and has since been a coach and ref­eree be­fore tak­ing ad­min­is­tra­tive roles within the world bas­ket­ball-gov­ern­ing body.

Kotleba on Tues­day told the Le­sotho Times that he was happy with what he saw dur­ing his tour, but also ex­pressed con­cern over the level of coach­ing and ref­er­ee­ing in le­sotho.

“Part of my visit is to see the con­di­tion of the fa­cil­i­ties and also as­sess the level of coach­ing and ref­er­ee­ing which i both feel are lag­ging be­hind,” Kotleba said.

“i also watched a cou­ple of games and i have seen that there is tal­ent in this coun­try, which how­ever, needs a lot of hard work to full its po­ten­tial.”

Kotleba also said he was sur­prised with the progress le­sotho has been made as far as bas­ket­ball is con­cerned.

“My mes­sage to the as­so­ci­a­tion is that they need to in­crease their player-base be­cause we will bring qual­i­fied per­son­nel to help im­prove the level of coach­ing and also of­fi­ci­at­ing in this coun­try,” said Kotleba.

“With the way things are go­ing for the LBA, i have no doubt they will have a prod­uct that will be mar­ketable and easy to sell for as long as they main­tain their trans­parency.

“i’m also happy with what i saw in terms of the fa­cil­i­ties be­cause I did not ex­pect it. It is in­deed strange be­cause le­sotho is ahead of most de­vel­op­ing coun­tries when it comes to bas­ket­ball.”

for his part, LBA gen­eral man­ager, Palo Mohlot­sane, ex­pressed op­ti­mism fol­low­ing Kotleba’s visit.

“There is so much we have to do in or­der to reach our goals, but in­di­ca­tions are there that we are on the right track and do­ing some­thing for our coun­try,” Mohlot­sane said.

“But at the same time, we need to work harder to pro­duce qual­ity coaches, ref­er­ees and also im­prove the num­bers in terms of play­ers.

“i think that can make us a bet­ter coun­try in the next 10 years as far as bas­ket­ball is con­cerned,” he said.

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