Harare- The newly formed SADC Basketball League is at an advanced stage of getting registered with FIBA Africa and FIBA Zone Six.
The league was formed recently with the aim of bridging the competitive gap between Southern Africa’s clubs and the West and North African clubs.
Oftentimes, clubs from this part of Africa punch well below their weight with only Mozambique, Angola at times, the only countries which produce clubs who perform well.
It is against this background that the ‘who is who’ of basketball in Southern Africa set down and decided to come up with this initiative.
With structures already in place and the format in which the SADC Basketball League will take being spelt out, the league is now running around to formally register its existence with superior authorities.
The league’s chairperson, Sunny Mbofana told The Southern Times last week that its wing responsible for marketing, competitions, ethics and regulations had made inroads to see to it that the league stands as a legal entity under the auspices of FIBA Africa.
“SADC League is work in progress. The league has to be registered by FIBA Africa and in particular FIBA’s Zone 6. We are in touch with the authorities. They want to assess the feasibility of implementing the league,” said Mbofana.
“The Central Committee is busy and our commissions are busy putting measures in place. I am more than happy with the progress in our Marketing, Competitions and Ethics and Regulations Commissions.
“We are well on course and with the blessing of the authorities, we should be hitting the basketball courts very soon. We expect to launch the league before year-end this year.”
Mbofana said the SADC Basketball League seeks to provide a platform where Southern African teams will compete amongst themselves before they can participate in more demanding Basketball Africa League (BAL) and the African Club Championships.
“It’s (SADC League) a championship league. Ours is a precursor to BAL and Club Championships and this is set to run before these big FIBA events with a view to give qualifying team’s platforms to prepare even better and help them raise funds for their transport, accommodation and affiliation fees.
“It is not a secret, teams from the SADC region are failing when it comes to these big FIBA tournaments. Angolan and Mozambican teams have done better but still fail at the highest level.
“Admittedly the standard of the game is low in the region and the SADC League’s aim is to help close this gap.”
Mbofana added that as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic eases and authorities say it is safer to do sports, the SADC League will start putting in place structures which will enable clubs to engage in friendly games.
All things being equal, the SADC League will consist of 30 men’s clubs and as many female teams as possible, meaning champions and runners-up from each country in this region will be guaranteed a place every year once the league is fully registered.