Basketball scores a first
…as Econet and Lesotho Basketball Association bring NBA superstar Ifeanyi Festus Ezeli–Ndulue to Lesotho
The Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) and Econet Telecom Lesotho will host Nigeria-born National Basketball Association (NBA) star, Ifeanyi Festus Ezeli–Ndulue next week.
Ezeli-Ndulue (25) currently plays for the Golden State Warriors in the American NBA — widely considered the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world — and is set to hold coaching clinics from 3-4 August in Maseru.
According to LBA public relations officer Ratšolo Molupe, Ezeli–Ndulue was initially scheduled to visit South Africa only to promote the sport but telecommunications giant Econet had decided to bring him to Lesotho on a similar mission.
“It will be the first experience of its kind and thanks to Econet, our young players will get the chance to see a top basketball player such as Festus Ezeli,” Molupe said on Tuesday this week.
“I feel this will go a long way in boosting basketball in Lesotho as it will be very motivating for young players to see and listen to a top player.
“During his visit here, the basketball star will hold a coaching clinic for student representatives of the 32 schools registered with our association.
“The aim is for him to share his skills with the youngsters and also his experience on how he became such a world-class basketball player.
“This will be a good chance for our young players to get firsthand information from somebody who has played and seen it all at the highest level of basketball.”
Molupe also said he was confident the presence of the NBA superstar would help the LBA forge relationships that would boost the sport in the country.
“Our country will benefit a lot as we will also be given the material that he will be using during the clinics while Econet will be donating basketball hoops, balls and bibs to our association at the same time.
“His visit will conclude with a gala-dinner where there will be further interaction with our esteemed guest.”
Meanwhile, Molupe told the Lesotho Times that the LBA was preparing for the 2015-16 basketball season which kicks off on 12 September.
“We will first start with the registration of teams as well as players for the new season before the campaign begins on 12 September,” he said.
Molupe also said the two teams which would end the season in first and second positions in both the male and female categories, would be assisted to represent the country in international competitions.