Mikia Kalati and Moorosi Tsiane
The Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) is set to host a two-day fundraising tournament at Lehakoe Courts this weekend.
The event, dubbed the Invitational Summer Slam, would feature local, South African and Botswana teams, according to LBA Public Relation Officer, Ratšolo Molupe.
“This is an annual competition that we have been staging successfully since 2004 and we believe it will continue to grow from strength to strength as our main aim is to raise funds for charity,” Molupe told the Lesotho Times this week.
“So far, we have about twelve teams that have registered for the tournament, and some are from South Africa and Botswana.”
Molupe further said he was confident the 13-14 December tournament would be as successful as previous editions of the competition.
“We have held this competition quite successfully over the years and we expect the same this year.”
Molupe further noted local basketball was growing “steadily”, which he said was in line with the LBA vision.
“I think we have done fairly well this year and I’m happy with the growth of the sport in the country,” said Molupe.
“We can never say we are satisfied, but we put a lot of effort throughout the year to improve the sport and I think the future is bright; the game is experiencing steady growth which is in line with our vision as an association.
“However, there is still room for improvement as far as development is concerned and also stretching the sport to other district such as Thaba-Tseka and Qacha’s Nek.”
According to Molupe, 2014 is the current LBA’s last year in office hence the importance of ensuing the upcoming tournament is a resounding success.
Meanwhile, according to LBA secretary general, Palo Mohlotsane, the Ministry of Hope Children’s Home in Katlehong would benefit from proceeds from the weekend tournament. The centre is home to 28 children.
“This is a charity event held annually during this time of the year. We usually select a children’s home that we buy Christmas gifts for, so this year, we will be helping the Ministry of Hope Children’s Home in Katlehong,” Mohlotsane told press conference held in Maseru last week.
“We are expecting at least 10 teams at the tournament, with Lichocha, Bashana Ba Heso, KTA All Stars, NUL Rovers, and Lerotholi Polytechnic, all from Lesotho, and University of Free State, Jozi Nuggets, and Goodfellas all from South Africa, already confirming their attendance.”
Mohlotsane further said the winning male and female teams would receive M1000 and M800 respectively.
“In addition to the prize money, the winners will get a floating trophy and gold medals, while the runners-up take home silver medals,” Mohlotsane said.
The Ministry of Hope Lesotho founder, ‘Mamonyane Mohale, who also spoke at the media briefing, thanked the LBA for the noble initiative, which she said would go a long way in helping the children have a happy festive season.
“We are really grateful for this initiative; it will make a huge difference on the lives of these children that we are looking after at the home,” Mohale said.
Goodfellas are the defending champions of the popular tournament.