|Bokamoso: developing future stars...|
With the National Basketball League on hiatus until the New Year, the Bokamoso Basketball Development Program is concluding its year by hosting the first-ever edition of the Bokamoso Under-21 Basketball Development Tournament.
The countrywide youth league was launched last weekend. It intends to boost the standard of basketball in the country and give rural youth a platform to compete and showcase their talent.
The Bokamoso Under-21 Basketball Development Tournament has been divided into in five regions. The zones are North 1, North 2, South, Maseru 1 and Maseru 2 and games will played in Maputsoe, Butha-Buthe, Mohale’s Hoek and Maseru.
Bokamoso Basketball Development Program, of course, is the home of National Basketball League (NBL) log leaders Bokamoso South who have also won the Sprite Memorial Independence Tournament and Summer Slam Charity Tournament competitions in recent months.
Bokamoso North, meanwhile, lead the standings in the national women’s league.
According to Bokamoso programme coordinator Bokang Pharela, the Under-21 league is another of the club’s initiatives to produce quality basketball players around Lesotho.
He said they are striving for their development programme to reach every corner of the country, search for talent and revive rural and regional teams.
“Up to date we are working in eight districts of the country and we hope soon we will be all over the country,” Pharela said.
Pharela said Bokamoso want to grow the country’s pool of young players and increase participation in basketball.
“At the moment NBL teams only have one channel for players – high school clubs. This poses a threat to our sport because when the players reach a higher level of education they leave the sport and focus only on their education. So it is wise for us to sensitise them at an early stage that sport goes together with education and creates work at some point,” Pharela said.
Jonase Mokhakala, who is the Thaba-Tseka District Basketball Coordinator and head coach of Highlands Hawks Basketball Development Program, praised the Bokamoso Under-21 league. He said he hoped it would boost his team’s level as it will be their first time taking part in such a tournament.
“It is a good idea which also acts as way of removing the kids from the streets during these December holidays. It will keep them busy with basketball,” Mokhakala said.