Rising Basketball Star has big dreams - Jan 7, 2010
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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.
Dolphins Champions - 2 Years ago
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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]
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 teams needed victory in order to win the league. It was Troopers who started the match confidently with Mbaki Pitso (G), Thebe Morwaagole, Teko Sekgwama (89) and Duma Setlhare orchestrating brisk attacks. Morwaagole scored good baskets as Troopers established a 10-3 lead in the early stages of an end to end first quarter. However, Dolphins found their footing and closed the gap to leave the score tied 18-18 at the end of the first quarter. The match continued to be an entertaining end to end staff in the second quarter, but Dolphins dominated goalmouth action as Nathan Warikandwa combined well with Tshepo Mixon and Kesaobaka Ndawanyana. The physicality of the battles led to the two teams committing a lot of fouls which resulted in many free-throws. Warikandwa in particular was a menace to Troopers as Dolphins established a 34-31 half-time lead. Dolphins produced a masterful attacking performance with Ndawanyana, Patrick Mokgethi and Michael Masilo plundering more points to leave Troopers on their knees in the third quarter and stretching their lead 56-39. Their defence was a lot more solid after the break as they won a lot of rebounds, leaving Troopers attackers Mothusi Phokoje, Setlhare and Pitso frustrated. Dolphins continued their domination of the match, but the lights then went off six minutes into the fourth quarter, halting what was an engaging spectacle. When lighting returned, Dolphins slowed down play with the intention of seeing out their win. Dolphins coach, Trynos Moyo expressed happiness about winning the league for the first time since he started coaching the team. "We are just happy to win the league, but we are also humble. To beat a team like Troopers to win the league is something else. We managed to run them down, we managed to tire them," Moyo said. With the national championships set to start this week, Moyo wants his young team to continue playing well. "The national championships will be a different ball game. But chances are we would meet them again, we would give everything we can," he said. Spartans, Flames and Police finished the league in third, fourth and fifth places respectively. Meanwhile, Police V women have retained their title in the women's league after finishing with 28 points. BDF V came second with 26 points, while Dolphins and UB Relics were third and fourth respectively. Avengers came fifth while BC Ravens finished sixth. Courtesy of: dailynews.gov.bw
Botswana unsuccessful in basketball tourney - 2 Years ago
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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]
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 Mozambique and Zambia also inflicted resounding defeats on Botswana as the gap in standards between the local teams and the rest of Southern Africa was ruthlessly exposed. The local players were on many occasions undone by their lack of speed when dealing with rebounds and when in transition from defence to attack. Their shooting accuracy was not up to scratch as they fluffed scoring opportunities, even from free balls. The boys team scored just 79 points in four matches while conceding a tournament high 541 points. That underlined their problems in both attack and defence. The boys coach, Kago Gagobepe blamed lack of adequate preparations for the team's bad performance. He said the players he used in the competition were inexperienced in basketball yet the coaches were given a period of less than two weeks to prepare them. 'Some players were still new in basketball. We just picked them because of height and we wanted to nurture them so that they could become good basketball players. Unfortunately we did not have enough time for preparation. We only had a week and a half in camp and in that period we had to teach them the fundamentals of basketball,' Gagobepe explained. He argued that the period was too short to adequately improve concentration, pace and stamina of the players. 'Obviously we have now seen that preparations in basketball are very crucial, and speed is also essential. If you don't come prepared enough you would not compete. We should always prepare well in time for competitions of this magnitude,' he said. South Africa qualified for the FIBA U16 Afrobasket finals after winning the boys category. They finished the tournament with eight points after winning all their matches. Zimbabwe were runners-up with six points, while Zambia and Mozambique finished third and fourth respectively with six points each. Botswana came last with four points. In the girls category Zimbabwe won all its matches to finish top with eight points and qualify for the finals. Angola finished second with seven points, South Africa third with six points, while Zambia was fourth with five points. Botswana finished bottom with four points. Courtesy of: dailynews.gov.bw
Botswana basketball protege, Churchill Burrows (G) says he is enjoying an opportunity of playing professional basketball following his recent breakthrough in Europe. Burrows has been playing for Malta second division club, Hibernians, on trials for the past three months and explained that he has made positive impression. Back in Botswana for holiday, the 24-year-old former Dolphins captain said it was always his dream to play professional basketball. He said his stint in the Maltese leagu... [read more]
Botswana basketball protege, Churchill Burrows (G) says he is enjoying an opportunity of playing professional basketball following his recent breakthrough in Europe. Burrows has been playing for Malta second division club, Hibernians, on trials for the past three months and explained that he has made positive impression. Back in Botswana for holiday, the 24-year-old former Dolphins captain said it was always his dream to play professional basketball. He said his stint in the Maltese league was hugely successful as he played an important role in the Hibernians winning the second division league and two cup competitions. The team has now promoted to the premier division. Burrows pointed that his exploits in helping elevate Hibernians to the top division and cup glory have led to a clamor of interest in his services by a number of clubs in Malta. "I went to Malta on a mission to be Botswana's next player in the European market. Luckily I joined a good team and it has been a great experience for me. I was happy with my contribution, and I have offers from three teams, some of them in the top division," Burrows said in a media interaction onTuesday May 5. Courtesy of: dailynews.gov.bw
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