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Articles

Rising Basketball Star has big dreams - Jan 7, 2010


POSTED BY:
EUROBASKET CENTER
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This week Voice Star shone the spotlight on basketball and found a young up and coming star in Spartans' and University of Botswana player, Robert Bendo Mosalakatane who hails from Kanye in the Southern district. He will also captain the Gaborone district team in the Gaborone games starting on 14 December. He was born into a sporting family as his brother and sister played tennis. Mosalakatane is just 18 years old and already doing his first year at university in Architecture. He spoke to MOJAKI MONNAKGOTLA while still celebrating a gold medal he clinched with his UB team in the just ended BOTESSA college games.

How did your career in basketball begin?
I was introduced to the sport while doing standard six by my teacher, Mr Sibanda. I then went to Delta Waters where there was no basketball until when doing form two and a new court was built. That is back in 2006 when I played forward and led the school team to a silver medal in the BISA games. In 2007 I moved to Legae Academy where I was part of the school team and this time played as a guard, a position that everyone has to play in the basketball field. We got a silver medal at the ISSA competitions held in Francistown and I was also chosen the Most Valuable Player. I have also played for the national under 17, 18 and 20 and have a bronze medal from the COSSASA games. Last year I tasted my first sport allowance from Botswana National Sports Council. I have also been part of Spartans team from 2007 where I have played as a point guard. Gym Active sponsors us, so we train in a semi indoor facility.

Some people associate basketball with a certain class of the society, how can you best describe it?
I think African Americans started it but the whites can also play it nowadays. Everyone can play the sport even the so-called 'Manyora'. People always speak slang and greet us in an American accent but I normally respond in good Setswana like 'Dumela rra'.

What is your dream as an individual and part of Spartans team?
I honestly want to play professional ball and probably overseas. I also have an architectural career to think about. I will dedicate my entire playing career to the Spartans team. Mostly Franklin Johnson from Cuba has coached me among many. At Legae Academy James Kalebwe was the man; at Spartans the likes of Hubert Bhebhe, Roy Sikwila and in the Gaborone team Bruce Nkala coaches me where I am also the teams captain.

Has anybody from the national team talked to you about your future with the sport?
I have been part of the junior teams. I guess that is a statement on its own but the Technical Director, Mothusi Thipe sees potential in us as youth so I just have to be patient and I will get there.

What will you say your role at Spartans is and are you happy with it?
I am like a playmaker, my role is to control the tempo of the game. That however depends on how we want to play our game and our opponents. If we play a vulnerable team we play quick and hard; we become just too fast. If we play a good team we change the strategy and that's where I come in.

Are you happy with the quality of courts in the country and how do you think they can be improved?
I enjoy playing at the University of Botswana courts, the SSKB courts are also not bad but I have to admit that there are many courts in South Africa, which give one a good choice. I can say we still need to improve our courts though and there is need to also cater for the spectators.

How does one become a superstar and or a good player in this game?
I am not yet there but from what I have learnt one has to really train hard as they say practice makes perfect. If I am not at school I normally do 200 shots per day alone and if you get an opportunity as a player you must utilise it fully.

Do you think players in Botswana are giving their all in basketball?
In Botswana football is the most popular sport and people tend not to enjoy basketball mainly because the media has neglected it. There is need to sensitize fans and drum support for the sport. I however have to point out that this sport is very entertaining, the problem is people don't understand it and there is reluctance to support us in turn.

What really motivates you to get up and go to training every day without complaining?
The thought of wanting to play at professional level keeps me going. My friends also push me to go all the way. I have a training partner Gentleman Fisher and we are also team-mates so we always push each other and it has so far helped us.

Do you prefer indoor or outdoor facilities and explain why?
I would have to go with indoor because there are no weather disruptions. This past Saturday we had games postponed because of weather. I also like the wood surface that is in a lot of indoor facilities. I think it is the best as it is also used in professional courts.

How do you prepare for crucial games as an individual?
If we play in the evening I go and do my shooting in the morning. An hour before the game I like listening to music and relaxing but I have to point out that to me every game is important and I play like it is the last game giving my best.

Lastly who do you think is the best basketball player?
Personally I have had my games against a lot of players around and I will go for Mothusi Thipe. He also happens to be one of my role models in the game. I love this game and want to be one of the best.   



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Botswana has finished bottom of the boys and girls pools in the FIBA Africa Zone VI U16 Afrobasket qualifiers. The five-day event, which was held at the Botswana National Youth Centre (BNYC) multi-purpose hall, came to an end on Saturday (May 30) with the hosts having lost all their matches after some dismal performances. The girls team was outclassed 68-19 by South Africa in its opening match on Tuesday, while the boys were crushed 120-16 by the same opponent. Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozamb...   [read more]
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Dolphins are the Botswana Basketball League men's division 1 champions after beating Troopers 71-56 in a fast-paced title decider played on Saturday night. The entertaining match was halted for more than 30 minutes in the last quarter due to darkness after lights went off at the University of Botswana (UB) basketball courts. Before the match, Troopers were top of the log with 22 points from 12 matches, while Dolphins were in second position with 20 points from 11 matches. Therefore, both...   [read more]
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