Basketball Union of Zimbabwe broke, appeals for Afro-Basket funding

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THE Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (Buz) is in a financial quandary for the national women basketball team’s preparations and travel to Mozambique for the Afro-Basket tournament which gets underway from September 20-29.

REPORT BY FORTUNE MBELE

The women’s senior basketball team made a first this year when they qualified for the championships in February after beating neighbours Botswana 94-34 and 67-30 away and home respectively.

But Buz national teams general manager Shinga Magede yesterday said the national basketball association is yet to secure funding for going into camp, let alone travelling to Mozambique with the competition scheduled to start in two weeks.

In July, Buz requested the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) to move the continental basketball showcase from July 26 — August 4 to this month as Zimbabwe held its harmonised elections on July 31, but to date the national basketball association is yet to secure funding for the tournament despite the postponement.

“We are busy running around and we have sent letters to several corporates and have lined up several appointments, but some of the responses that we have received have been the “We-will-get-back-to-you” type.

“We kindly request the government to intervene and encourage the corporates to come in and assist. We are requesting that the government be the major player as we are not going there to represent ourselves.

“We will be on national duty and will be ambassadors of the country. We have seen football being assisted at Afcon and the Afro-Basket is an equivalent of Afcon,” Magede said.

The women’s basketball team recently attended a training camp in South Africa, led by coach Skhumbuzo Ndlovu and they are billed to play the first match at the Afro-Basket tournament against hosts Mozambique.

Two groups feature in the tournament and Zimbabwe is in Group A which also has Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Egypt while Group B comprises holders and African champions Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon and Cape Verde.

The Afro-Basket competition is a platform for qualifying for the World Cup to be held in Turkey next year and Zimbabwe’s chances of going through are slim as they face the African giants in the tournament, but the trip will definitely be an eye-opener for the team.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Vana Shinga Nachiware mbavha dzevanhu, musavapa kana cent, vajaira kubira vanhu mari & abusing athletes. Matsotsi

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