The Botswana Basketball Association will host the 2017 ZONE VI CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS PRELIMINARIES, to be played on October 23- 29 2017 in Gaborone.
The games will include both men’s and women’s teams that have won their respective leagues, and also those that took position two. Participation of 4 teams is therefore expected per country, which will include Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Angola.
The 2017 ZONE VI CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS PRELIMINARIES form the first stage of qualification for Basketball Clubs –to the World Championships Cup.
Teams in the Southern African region will play in Botswana, and those that attain position 1 and 2 will then qualify to pay in the Africa Club Championship.
This is the highest calibre professional basketball competition for clubs, organised by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Africa.
Thereafter, the number 1 and 2 teams in Africa will play in the World Club Championships Cup.
Speaking at the announcement of the Championships, President of the Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) Boineelo Hardy highlighted that the games coming to Botswana presented a wide scope of benefits for all stakeholders involved or related to the games.
“It is no doubt an honour and a privilege for Botswana to host these regional knockouts. Botswana will walk away the biggest winner as there are ample benefits to the sport and to the nation in general, that come with hosting the games. Games of this magnitude that have been sanctioned by FIBA, through FIBA Africa, increase teams and technical rankings for a country. Countries that host such games receive more support and assistance from FIBA, which will benefit the development of basketball in Botswana greatly,” she explained.
“As a hosting country, Botswana is able to field the highest number of teams per country: 6 teams (3 men’s and 3 women’s). This will benefit a wide array of players in the local league as they will be exposed to high level basketball play. This experience will also benefit the performance of the national team players. In addition and perhaps most importantly, our players stand a chance to be scouted to play in professional leagues,” Hardy highlighted.
For his part the Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee Terence Showa, explained that the formal and informal sectors of business also had a lot to gain. “The whole region will be focused on Botswana for this week, and therefore businesses that partner with or sponsor the games will receive exposure to a wide audience through the likes of FIBA TV, Supersport and of course or very own TV, radio and online platforms,”he stated.
“Let us not forget the formal and informal businesses that provide an array of products and service to the masses that will have plenty of opportunities to increase their trade through the arrival of the players, officials and the fans that will descend on Botswana for that week.We therefore encourage the business community to get in touch with the Local Organising Committee and be a part of this great opportunity.”
The LOC also took the opportunity to announce basketballer, Churchilll Barrows, popularly known as ‘Church’, as brand ambassador for the games.
The 26 year-old Barrows’ basketball career has seen him play across the world,having made appearances in the Mozambican, American, Canadian and South African basketball scenes.
Locally, Churchill has previously played for the Spartans and the Dolphins, and is currently with the Police Basketball Club. “October is just around the corner; we are asking Batswana to be a part of the games in any way possible because they belong to us all. We also urge the public to come to the games and support their own and ensure that our country proceeds to the African Championships,” encouraged Barrows.
The local men’s team that have made it are the Troopers Basketball Club, Dolphins Albatross Basketball Club and the Spartans Basketball Club while women’s teams are the BDF V, Police V and the UB Relics.