Mothepu elected basketball boss

MASERU — Molupe Mothepu was last weekend elected president of the Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) during elections that are expected to usher in a new era for the sport in Lesotho.

Palo Mohlotsane was elected to the powerful post of general secretary with several others being elected into the new committee. Speaking to the Lesotho Times on Tuesday, Mohlotsane said this was the beginning of bigger and brighter things
in basketball.

“It’s a new era”.

“The people who have been chosen in the committee are passionate and concerned about what is happening with basketball right now,” Mohlotsane said.

The appointment of the new committee at the association’s extraordinary meeting came after a vote of no confidence was passed on the previous board last month.

This forced the suspension of all basketball activities including the start of the national basketball league, the NBL.

It is part of the turmoil that has engulfed basketball in recent years.

The previous committee took office last March and still had three years to run.

However, problems in administration and dwindling membership resulted in Sunday’s extraordinary meeting that ousted them. The new committee will be in office until 2015.

Only three people survived from the previous committee.

Mohlotsane, who was the public relations officer in the previous committee, was elected general secretary, together with Khoabane Rampobole who remains the director of referees and table umpires.

Phakoa Moiloa retained his seat as director of coaches and development.

Mohlotsane said the LBA had 42 schools as members but that had dropped to 33 due to disillusionment within the membership of the association.

“From 2005 to 2008 the membership was high but right now as we speak there has been a sizeable drop,” Mohlotsane said.

“The teams’ motivation was low because of poor administration. Sometimes you would find that there were no trophies or medals at tournaments,” Mohlotsane said.

He said ‘Mathapelo Motšoane’s appointment as director of women in sports was crucial towards boosting declining membership.

“Her role is to develop the women’s game in Lesotho and increase the enthusiasm and sprit of teams.

“Right now we don’t have many women’s teams,” Mohlotsane said.

The new board would focus on attracting sponsorship to improve basketball in the country.  It would also restructure the sport. The national team hasn’t played since 2003 while the league was last played last year.

Mohlotsane said the postponed Top Eight and Top Four tournaments would only be played next year.

“The tournaments won’t be played this year because of circumstances that are out of our control,” he said, adding that they were now looking to start the season afresh next year.

In the meantime, Mohlotsane said, focus is now on the Independence Tournament, also known as the Mohale Invitational.

The tournament which is one of the major events on the basketball calendar is scheduled for next month.

“Preparations for the Independence Tournament are in the pipeline as we speak,” Mohlotsane said.

 LBA committee:

President: Molupe Mothepu

Vice-President: Bokang Sehlabaka

Secretary General: Palo Mohlotsane

Treasurer: Nkopane Makhoali

Director of coaches: Phakoa Moiloa

Public relations officer: Ratšolo Molupe

Director of referees and table umpires: Khoabane Rampobole

Director women in sports: ‘Mathapelo Motšoane

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