Schools basketball takes cen­tre stage

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

The 2016 high Schools Basketball League sea­son gets un­der­way this week­end.

The ac­tion ex­plodes on Satur­day, with matches set for Methodist high School, Ma­bathoana high School and NULIS in Maseru while on Sun­day, the games take place at Leshoboro in Mafeteng, as well as holy Trin­ity and St Patrick high School in Mo­hale’s hoek.

Methodist high School are the de­fend­ing champions of the com­pe­ti­tion in both the male and fe­male cat­e­gories.

Ac­cord­ing to Le­sotho Basketball As­so­ci­a­tion (LBA) pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, Ratšolo Molupe, this year’s cham­pi­onship would also have teams from Thaba-tseka where Top8 play-offs of the same com­pe­ti­tion are go­ing to be held.

“We are an­tic­i­pat­ing a very ex­cit­ing high schools com­pe­ti­tion this year be­cause the ma­jor­ity of coaches in charge of these teams re­cently un­der­went in­ten­sive train­ing pro­vided by the Fed­er­a­tion of In­ter­na­tional Basketball As­so­ci­a­tions,” Molupe said.

‘We are ex­pect­ing over 30 schools to take part in the com­pe­ti­tion. What makes this year’s cham­pi­onship more ex­cit­ing is we have teams from as far as ThabaTseka, which shows we are in­deed, tak­ing the sport coun­try­wide and not only con­cen­trat­ing on Maseru.”

Ratšolo also said basketball was re­al­is­ing ex­po­nen­tial growth spurred by coach­ing pro­grammes con­ducted by in­ter­na­tional ex­perts. Vis­its by in­ter­na­tional basketball icons over re­cent months had also helped in­crease the pro­file of the sport in Le­sotho, he added.

“I would say 2016 has been very ex­cit­ing for us as the sport has seen a lot of growth both on the court as well as in ad­min­is­tra­tion,” said Molupe.

“how­ever, there is more to come from our na­tional league, which com­prises both the male and fe­male cat­e­gories, and is very com­pet­i­tive.

“Our teams are also mak­ing huge ef­forts to par­tic­i­pate in com­pe­ti­tions out­side the coun­try which is very good for the growth of the sport as this gives the play­ers much-needed in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure.”

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