31 January 2014

KENYA : 30 Teams for Kwale Open Tournament This Weekend

THIRTY teams have entered this weekend's Kwale Open basketball tournament sponsored by Coast Basketball Association. The tournament, which marks the first event on the CBA calendar this season, kicks off at Waa Boys and Waa Girls High Schools in Kwale County tomorrow.
Schools will form the bulk of the participants in the two-day tournament that has attracted teams from Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Taita/Taveta, Tana River and Lamu counties. CBA chairman Ali Hilmy said arrangements for the weekend's event have been finalised adding and the event will start at mid-day. The event comes barely two weeks after CBA sponsored a team to Zanzibar to commemorate the Island's Mapinduzi Cup early this month.
Shimba Hills (Kwale) and Mombasa Baptist (Mombasa) are among the top schools that have confirmed participation. Clubs for the event include Congo Nets, Changamwe Rollers, Makupa Lakers and Malindi Nets. "We will have the men teams converge at Waa Boys while ladies will be at the adjacent Waa Girls," Hilmy noted. He appealed to teams from outside Kwale to keep time and enable the complete the fixtures as per the schedule. "Apart from the Likoni ferry factor, we have packed fixtures and we want all the teams to report on time," appealed Hilmy.

KENYA : Dankind Academy Eye Seven Foot Player From Kakuma

NAIROBI Basketball Association (NBA) champions Dankind Academy are eyeing a seven footer from Kakuma to bolster the team's performance this season.
Team head coach John Coffino yesterday revealed that besides the towering South Sudanese, whom he has made his top target, he will also recruit about 10 to 12 players for the coming season. Dankind Academy, who won the NBA crown on their debut, will also hold week-long trials at their Roysambu courts next week to identify new players who will help the team scale new heights.
"The team need more guards since we have enough big men. If we can get the kind of players who have talent, then with the tall Sudanese, we would be all set for a tough year," said Coffino who recently returned from USA.
He said he is targeting young talents of between 15-16 years whom he will train into top class players within a short period. Already former Upper Hill mainstay Dominic Obunaka has joined the charges.
Coffino said Dankind Academy lost three top players who helped them clinch the provincial tittle last year. The players have joined institutions of higher learning which he lists as a priority. But he said there is no cause for alarm just as yet as the team will be even much stronger with the new recruits that are expected in soon.
"We started our training about three weeks ago and we have lined up friendlies to get us ready for the new season," he confided. He said his dream is to build a strong side that will battle against the very best in the country. The talent, he noted is abundant and what is needed is training and developing them. Coffino coached in USA and Qatar before coming to the country last year.
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30 January 2014

NIGERIA : Basketball World Cup - Nigerians Expectant As FIBA Set to Announce Wild Cards

As the central board of world basketball governing body, FIBA, meets in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday to decide which countries get the four wild cards for the 2014 FIBA World Cup, the basketball community in the country is anxiously waiting to know Nigeria's fate.
The Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) along with 15 other federations met the October 30, 2013 deadline for the submission of bids for the wild cards for their national teams. NBBF President, Tijanni Umar, said in Abuja yesterday that he expects Nigeria to be among the successful bids.
He stressed that Nigeria's basketball would be greatly honoured to be the first African team to bag a wild card to the World Cup. D'Tigers failed to qualify directly at the 2013 Afrobasket championship in Abidjan, Cote d' Ivoire, which served as qualifiers for the basketball showpiece.
Umar argued that the national male team failed "largely due to a depleted roster caused by major injuries."
Still advancing reasons why Nigeria should get a wild card for the World Cup, the NBBF president said, "Our team has a pool of sustainable talent in some of the best basketball leagues around the world that can perform and compete against the best at the highest levels of the game.
Asked how competitive he expects the Nigerian team to be and whether he is confident the team will feature all its leading/best players, Umar retorted, "If given a wild card, our team will present its best-ever roster for maximum impact and our team captain has written a commitment letter on behalf of his colleagues which is enclosed in our bid document."
The countries jostling for the four available wild cards alongside Nigeria (ranked 18 in the world) are, Bosnia-Herzegovina (57), Brazil (10), Canada (25), China (12), Finland (39), Germany (14), Greece (5), Israel (37), Italy (21), Poland (40), Qatar (42), Russia (6), Turkey (7) and Venezuela (28).

RWANDA : Espoir step up preps ahead of Kenya tourney

KBC’s forward Mike Buzangu (R), seen here in action during last season’s All-Star Game, has joined Espoir ahead of the Nairobi tournament. Times Sport/Timothy Kisambira
REIGNING CHAMPIONS Espoir basketball club have intensified preparations ahead of the inaugural GJ (Dr. George Jones) Sports Medical Centre tournament scheduled for February 13-16 at Nyayo indoor stadium in Nairobi, Kenya. 
Dubai-based Dr George Jones recently launched his entry into Africa by unveiling his ‘transform minimally invasive surgery centre’ in Nairobi. He Nyamirambo-based Espoir were invited following two successful seasons during which they won back-to- back two league and two play-offs titles.Coach Jean Bahufite’s team also won the 2012 Fiba Africa Zone V championships.
“We have been training for the last two weeks in order to put ourselves in a good position to vie for the title,” Espoir captain Aristide Mugabe told this paper on Tuesday.The 2012 national league MVP also claimed that the team is in good shape after winning 86-46 over United Basketball Generation (UGB) on Sunday in a warm-up match.
Meanwhile, Espoir have added Kigali basketball club (KBC) star player Mike Buzangu to their already impressive lineup.

29 January 2014

NIGERIA : NBBF Reschedules Pre-Season Seminar February 5

Stakeholders The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has announced a new date for its planned Stake-holders Forum/ Pre-Season Seminar earlier scheduled to hold this week in Abuja.According to a statement by Elijah Adamu, Assistant Secretary-General of the NBBF, the new date is now February 5-9. The new date has been communicated to all the DSTV Premier Basketball League teams, the Zenith Bank Women Basketball League teams, states Basketball Associations as well as technical officials.
The Stakeholders Forum holds February 6 and the seminar comes up on February 7 and 8.Mr Adamu disclosed that the postponement of the Stakeholders Forum was "to enable our sponsors conclude arrangements for the new season".Similarly, the FIBA Africa Congress to kick-start activities of the Africa Basketball Ruling body is schedule for Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire from March 3rd through 7th.Activities of the 5th Congress will begin with an Executive Committee meeting slated for March 3rd followed by meeting of Presidents from the seven FIBA Africa Zones on March 5th.
The meeting will be rounded off with the Central Board Meeting on March 6th and 7th, 2014.

GAMBIA : Pa Modou Sarr Annual Basketball Tournament Set for Thursday

The annual Late Pa Modou Sarr Basketball Tournament is set to get underway on Thursday 30 January 2014 at the Serrekunda West Mini Stadium Basketball Court with Lamin taking on Manjai in the opening game of the competition.
Pa Modou Sarr, a Gambian basketball player, died in a car crash in the USA in 2004.
He was playing for the Navarro College basketball team at the time of his death.
After a successful 3-on-3 basketball tournament, the Gambia Basketball Association (GBA) would like to use this momentum to continue engaging Gambian youth via basketball and to also use this tournament as a prelude to the start of the National Basketball league, the association states. Nine teams have been invited to take part in the competition. They are Serrekunda West (last year's champions), Brikama (last year's finalist), YMCA, Serrekunda East, GAF, Kotu, Sport House, Lamin, and Manjai.
The tournament will be a single elimination knockout affair with matches scheduled to take place on the following dates:
Thursday, 30 January 2014 - Lamin vs Manjai (a newly registered team)
Friday 31 January 2014 - YMC vs Serrekunda East
Brikama vs Sport House
Saturday 1 February 2014 - Serrekunda West vs Winners (Lamin vs. Manjai)
Tuesday 4 February 2014 - 1st Semifinals
Wednesday 5 February 2014 - 2nd Semifinals
Saturday 8 February 2014 - Finals

LESOTHO : Lehakoe hosts basketball trial

Mosotho Issue 3113.indd

By Nthako Majoro
MASERU-The Lesotho Basketball Association (LBA) will tomorrow hold an under-20 tournament at the Lehakoe Courts to select a team  for the Southern Africa Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) 3-on-3 competition to be held in Botswana in June this year.
According to the LBA spokesperson, Ratšolo Molupe, a huge turnout of both boys and girls is expected for the event, but with just five players being selected.
“We have a FIBA 3-on-3 basketball tournament on Saturday at  Lehakoe in Maseru. The competition is for the boys’ under-20 trials for the Southern Africa FIBA tournament to be held in Botswana in June this year,” said Molupe on Wednesday this week.
“Even though the tournament is for the under-20 boys, we are also expecting girls of the same age, and also senior players from all the clubs that are registered with the LBA. Registration is M100 per team and the deadline is Friday at 2pm.”
Molupe further said this would be the first time Lesotho takes part in such an international competition.
“This is going to be the first time Lesotho players would be competing at international level in such a tournament, while at national level, we last held such a competition a long time ago. The reason for the inactivity has been lack of funds, but now thanks to the Lesotho National Olympic Committee sponsorship, the tournament has bounced back.”

LESOTHO : BBH close first round in serious note

Bashana Ba Heso (BBH) ended the first round of the National Basketball League in their group and this is after defeating Buffalos by 60–19 baskets.
KTA All Stars maintain second position when they defeated the same team with 96-45 baskets, KTA All Stars lost against BBH only and BBH has won every match they have played. National Basketball League Committee and Executive Committee must enforce rules and regulations on the clubs which does not attend the league games.
If the teams forfeit their points, they give other teams the opportunity to score more baskets, and at the same time some clubs benefit 20 basketballs without being scored and these clubs gain goal differences against teams who fought for the points and baskets. They do not get any fines; they are only relegated at the end of the season after costing other team’s points and goals.
The results of the games played on Saturday at the National University of Lesotho Basketball Courts, in court A Limkokwing University Technology (LUCT) lost by 37-28 against Leseli, Lerotholi Polytechnic lost 34-28 against Rovers and Shines forfeited against Mafokotsane and were awarded a 20-0 victory margin. In court B Buffalos lost 60-19 against the log leaders BBH, Rangers was not present at the time of the game forfeited 20-0 to Street Sharks, Khube State also forfeited against Rangers and also got 20-0.
Surprisingly after Street Sharks got free points and baskets, it was no where to be found when they were supposed play against Buffalos, so Buffalos got 20-0. Buffalos had to take KTA All Stars late after launch and lost 96-45, but Buffalos game improved in every quarter. In the first they lost 22-3, second quarter was 24-16, third quarter was 23-13 and the last quarter was 27-13.
Buffalos ended both matches playing with four players in the field and this was after some of their players got five fouls and had to march out. In their last game they lost Thabiso Lesale and Khotso Tamanyane on five fouls and Fusi Mphongoa was limping after getting an injury in the first match, while Molupe Rats’olo was also sent off because of five fouls but his team had more players to take his place.

The last match of the day was between Rovers and Mafokotsane in court B, and Rovers defeated Mafokotsane 61-47, Rovers ended the first round on top in their group, followed by Lerotholi Polytechnic and third is Leseli. The dates and venues of the second round will be announced soon.

28 January 2014

KENYA : Sigalame Beat Mundika to Win Arunga Tourney

EMMAH Okello posted 20 points as Sigalame beat Mundika 43-33 in an entertaining annual Mike Arunga basketball tournament final at St. Peter's High School, Mumias on Sunday. Andrew Ghangi added 12 points for the victors while Kaka Mabior and David Ouma scored 10 points apiece for the losers in an all Busia county affair. The rivalry between the two teams is now set to spill to the Busia county school championship later on next month.
Sigalame had earlier beaten the hosts Mumias 39-20 while Mundika defeated defending champions Musingu- 46-28 in their respective semi-finals.
In the quarters, Sigalame beat Booker Academy 49-10; St. Peters Mumias beat Malava 29-16; Musingu hit Kibabii boys 29:19 and Mundika beat Silungai 47-05. The event attracted 12 teams. Mt Kenya University, Kakamega beat Bungoma Sonics 54:38 to win the clubs' category.
Mt Kenya had earlier defeated Busia Raptors 49-28 while Sonics beat Mumias Snapzters 65-18 in the semi finals.
Action heads to St. Bridgid's High School, Kiminini and Kitale Technical Institute this weekend in the third series of tournaments sponsored by Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) western branch.

GAMBIA : Gambia Basketball Needs to Be Fully Restored, Says Gba Pro

Gambia Basketball Association public relations officer Sandigie Njie has called on all for the restoration of Gambia basketball following the just concluded 3-on-3 competition held at the basketball court at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
The discipline, revived recently by the Gambia Basketball Association (GBA), has just kicked off with a massive participation after it had suffered from huge dormancy for many years.
PRO Sandigie Njie is calling for more participants to showcase their talents in the discipline which is set to commence its league in February.
Revealing the strategies for the development of the game in the country, Njie outlines their priorities in transforming the game from the grassroots level to produce and recruit potential athletes with global competitive age.
Reflecting on the current position of the discipline together with its partners on its road map, Njie says they have managed to provide strategic leadership and direction towards access, development, success, quality and excellence in basketball and recreation.
In an interview with The Point, he says the revival of the sport has provided the sector with a new paradigm which is guiding and directing their efforts into a new service delivery.
This has sparked a grassroots movement into basketball where a huge movement of activists, administrators, technocrats, educators, women, youth and the elderly, as well as politicians, would have to show interest, he said.
Basketball as a platform, he outlines, is one of the most significant cohesive factors in the nation, whilst it demonstrates its own measurable social and economic values which should be pursued.
Coaching and the development of sporting skills are key elements in any successful sport system and in the international level, he says.
"There is a need to explore all possible means to ensure that the coaches and referees are kept abreast with the latest technology, research, techniques and developments to provide athletes with a competitive edge," he noted.
He however commented on the decentralization of the game throughout the nation to uncover productive professional athletics for the development of the game. In collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, he says they are closely working in developing the game in the schools where they would be able to trace good talented athletes who would emerge as future professionals.
He thanked the US Embassy for its continued support and sponsors such West Coast, Africell, Skye Bank and others for their tireless boost in developing the game in the country.
He further appealed to the media to contribute their quota by ensuring news about the discipline and its games is disseminated countrywide.
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27 January 2014

RWANDA : Espoir's Shyaka Dreams of Playing in the U.S.

He helped Espoir retain both the league and playoff titles, only losing one game last season. Now he has opened up about his dreams of playing in the United States of America, though not necessarily in the famed NBA.
Nineteen-year old Olivier Shyaka is in red-hot form and emphasises his thirst for further improvement. "I would love, one day, to play in America," he told Saturday Sport on Wednesday.
Shyaka was born to Augustin Mpanumusingo and Cesalie Nyirabapagasi in Muhanga, Southern Province. He is the third born in a family of five (three boys and two girls).
His father passed away in early 1995, after succumbing to injuries sustained during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Shyaka attended Muhanga-based Ecole Primaire Gitarama before joining Saint Ignace Muhura in Kamonyi for his Ordinary Level and, later, Espanya Nyanza and Saint Joseph Kagbayi for Advanced Level.He spent just one year at Espanya and then moved to Saint Joseph Kagbayi where he earned his A-Level certificate in Maths, Chemistry and Biology.
Shyaka is currently a second year student at Kigali Independent University (ULK) where he is pursuing a Bachelors degree in Finance.
Early days
While growing up and playing volleyball as his first sport, the young Shyaka used to support APR basketball club. "I used to be an APR fan back then, but now I support Espoir, it is my team and I would do anything possible for the club to succeed."
In the American NBA, the power forward is inspired by Michael Jordan's history in the game, while Miami Heats' LeBron James is his main inspiration among the current players.Shyaka says he would probably never have played basketball to the level he is at presently had he not met then St Joseph Kabgayi basketball club and current Espoir head coach Jean Bahifite in 2009. At the time, seeing the potential in him, Bahifite advised Shyaka to ditch volleyball for basketball and the rest is history.
By 2009, the forward was featuring for national volleyball league side Christ-Roi NyanzaBecause of his height and physical strength, Bahufite, who also doubles as the national team assistant coach, took him up late 2009 and started training him regularly as a beginner and brought him to Saint Joseph Kagbayi the following year.
After joining his new school, Shyaka helped Saint Joseph Kabgayi reach national inter-schools' championships final twice - in 2010 and 2011 - and represented the school in the East African Post Primary (FEASSA) Games held in Nakuru, Kenya, and later in Mbarara, Uganda.
In 2011, he was part of the school's team in the national second division basketball league. Unfortunately, the lower league division didn't last long and collapsed soon due to lack of funding.
League career
After completing high school in 2011, Shyaka joined Kigali Basketball Club (in 2012) whom he played for a year and a half, helping them to a third place in the national championships.
During the summer transfer of 2013, Shyaka signed for champions Espoir and rejoined his former coach and mentor, Bahufite.After joining the Nyamirambo-based side, he helped them retain the league title with an unbeaten record and reclaim the play-offs title, losing just one game - against KBC - in the process.Shyaka also helped Espoir finish first runner-up in the memorial tournament honouring the victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in June, and then Fiba Africa Zone V championships in August.
National team role
In 2012, Shyaka was the driving force for Rwandan national junior team that won the Fiba Africa Zone Five U-18 Championships after beating Kenya in the final at Amahoro indoor stadium. He was named the tournament's Most Valued Player.His masterful performance for the junior side did go a long way in justifying his call-up to the senior national team at the start of 2013. He was a member of the team that finished second behind champions Egypt at the Fiba Zone V Championship in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.Having justified his place in the team, the youngster was included in the team that represented the country at the 27th edition of FIBA Africa Men's Championships held from August 20-31 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Rwanda finished in tenth out of 16 teams in the tournament which was won by powerhouse Angola.
Grateful to mentor
"I take this opportunity to thank my coach and mentor Jean Bahufite, who, out of nothing, made me the player I am today, and also the national team coach (Mutokambali) for his continued advice and the trust he has in me," he said.
"Those two have played the biggest role in my career."
The youngster added: "My team mates too have been pivotal in making me who I am as a basketball player; without them, I wouldn't be here talking to you."

25 January 2014

ZAMBIA : No Basketball in 2014

THE Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) has announced that it will not host any international events this year but will instead compete in events lined up by the International Basketball (FIBA) Africa Zone.
According to a Press statement released yesterday by ZBA acting general secretary, Mwembe Kaona, the decision was made during the first executive committee meeting of the year held at the weekend in Lusaka.
"After successfully hosting Zone Six club championships last October, ZBA was asked to host the Under-18 but declined as there are other areas of focus we wish to channel our efforts. We are looking at youth development with the aim of rebuilding the national team," Kaona said.
The international events ZBA is committed to take part in 2014 are the Under-18 African Championships which Zambia has to qualify by winning the Zone Six Under-18 Championships in May whose host nation is yet to be announced.The Under-18 Africa championship will serve as qualifiers for the World Under-19 Championships scheduled for next year.At the meeting, it was resolved to begin the league season during the Easter weekend on April 18 while the ZBA annual general meeting will be held on March 15.Kaona said a technical wing headed by national technical co-ordinator, Lovemore Sikaale will meet a cross section of coaches to recommend the strategies.A coaches forum will be held at the end of February where matters of who works with various age groups will be tackled.ZBA will also use the forum to launch its process of selecting and preparing its under-20 men and women's national teams to take part in the seventh Zone Six SADC Under-20 games slated for Harare, Zimbabwe in December.

KENYA : Financial Woes Worry Basketball Association

Nairobi — THE country's basketball teams are facing financial challenges ahead of the qualifiers for the World Championship scheduled for Poland.
The event will be held in June.Men's sitting volleyball players from more than ten counties have met in Nairobi for play-offs to put together a national team of 36 players despite the financial woes.The sitting volleyball players have congregated in Young Men's Christian Association Hall in Shauri Moyo where the selecting panel will pick at least one player from each of the represented counties to the national team.
“The selection that will be done today (Friday) will be for 18 male players. We already have 18 female players. Once we have the male players, we plan to take all of them to training camp,” said Jane Adhiambo, Secretary General for Federation for Sitting Volleyball Federation of Kenya.The team is set to leave the country for Morocco next month where it is expected to battle out with other teams from around the continent I a bid to secure the Sub-Saharan ticket to the world championships.Financial problems are however pinning down efforts of Sitting Volleyball Federation of Kenya since they do not have a sponsor yet.The chairman of the organisation, John Karanja, said even though they were busy putting together a national team, they do not have adequate money.
“We will continue with the selection and the send them home for one week as we strive to look for a sponsor,” said Karanja.
The women's team, which is the Sub-Saharan champion, was constituted last year in September.
It is scheduled to leave the country for Rwanda on March 9 for the World Championship qualifiers.

23 January 2014

NIGERIA : NBBF - Nigeria Will Participate in Basketball World Cup

A Member of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF), Agboola Pinheiro, has said that the body is optimistic that the nation will secure a wild card for Spain 2014 Basketball World Cup.
Nigeria and 14 other member-countries of the International Basketball Association (FIBA) are seeking for the four available wild cards.
NAN reports that FIBA will reveal which countries will receive the four wild cards at its central board meeting holding between February 1 and February 2 in Barcelona, Spain. Pinheiro told NAN in Lagos yesterday that Nigeria would secure a ticket to participate in the World Cup which would commence on Aug. 30.
"We will be in Barcelona, Spain for the World Cup because we have all that is required to be in the competition.
"This is because FIBA's rules clearly states that only three national teams from one FIBA zone can receive the wild card. "And Nigeria being the only country from the African zone puts us in a comfortable position," he said. According to Pinheiro, Nigeria's participation at the last Summer 2012 Olympics in London and its participation in 2013 Afrobasket Championship in Cote d'Ivoire also give it the chance.
NAN reports that the other teams seeking FIBA wild cards include Brazil (South America), Canada (North America) and Venezuela (Latin America). The Asian countries include China and Qatar, while Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia and Turkey are from Europe.

RWANDA : Eleven clubs to spice up basketball league

ELEVEN clubs will feature in the 2014 men’s national basketball league scheduled to kick off on February 22, according to the local federation, Ferwaba.The federation club secretary Richard Mutabazi said that four clubs have been added to the previous seven in a bid to bolster the league.The new clubs include Gisenyi, Huye-based University of Rwanda’s College of Humanities and Arts (formerly NUR), College of Education (formerly KIE) and IPRC-Kigali.The other teams in the league include APR, Espoir, Kigali, Rusizi, CSK, 30 Plus, and UGB.
Meanwhile, the women league has been boosted with two new clubs in UoR’s College of Humanities and Arts, and College of Education. They will join champions APR, RAPP and Ubumwe to constitute the league.

22 January 2014

ANGOLA : Chairperson Asks for Seriousness of Clubs in Training Process

Lubango — The chairperson of management committee of Basketball National Associations, Raul Duarte, has considered important the clubs to perform with more seriousness the training process of the players aimed to avoid absences in the competitions.
Speaking to Angop on Tuesday about the weak participation of teams in national male and female junior competitions, which is being hosted in Lubango city since Saturday, highlighted that it is important that the management of the teams, are more serious in this process, in order to avoid changes in the players' date of birth at the time of competitions.
"It is not good what is happening in the national competition. There is absolute absence of clubs and this fact reduces the competitiveness of the teams that have the mission of continuing in training the players for future national team", said the basketball coach.
Raul Duarte stated that the Angolan Basketball Association (FAB) has taken important decisions, while in the last editions some clubs had players with ages over the limit established by the rule for this category and many of them were still playing in junior and cadets championship.
To him, 1º de Agosto and Petro de Luanda male teams are the favorites.
The 28th edition of male Championship consists of five teams (1º de Agosto, Petro de Luanda, Sporting do Bié, Desportivo da Huíla and Casa Pessoal do Porto do Lobito) and the 27th in female consists of 1º de Agosto, Casa Pessoal do Porto do Lobito, Benfica do Lubango, Petro de Luanda, Interclube, Sporting de Benguela and Sporting do Bié.

NIGERIA : Basketball League - SuperSport's GM Urges Clubs to Market Their Brands

The General Manager, DStv/SuperSport, West Africa, Felix Awogu, yesterday urged clubs participating in the 2013/ 2014 DSTV/Men's Basketball League to take advantage of the satellite broadcast to market their clubs.
Awogu told NAN in Lagos that the 16 clubs participating in the league should use the platform to source for funds.
DStv/SuperSport, the sponsors of Nigeria's Men Elite Basketball League, upwardly reviewed a four-year contract with the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) from N150 million to N218 million from 2013 to 2016.
The league features 16 clubs - eight clubs from each of the Savannah and Atlantic conferences. "The matches are broadcast on our cable channel, and we have millions of viewers throughout Africa. "The clubs have the right to market themselves, most especially by their jerseys bearing the names of their sponsors.
"They can also take advantage of their home games, collect gate fees and create avenues that will bring more fans to come and watch their games. "They should be business-oriented and should not expect we at DStv to do everything for them," Awogu said.
According to him, in the previous season, Dodan Warriors of Lagos brought more values to themselves with jersey sponsorship.
"Dodan Warriors, in the last season had sponsors of its jersey. We also heard they had some foreign connections that were interested in promoting them. "Club owners should be busy doing business with their franchise because they also play a key role in developing the league and investing in young talents," he said. (NAN)

21 January 2014

KENYA : 2014 Kenya basketball league to have prize money?

File picture
File picture
The Kenya Basketball Federation league may soon introduce prize money for winning teams, if ongoing talks with prospective sponsors end according to expectations. The domestic KBF league remains one of the poorest in Kenya in terms of prizing and the federation officials have expressed their commitment to make the league more lucrative.
Michezoafrika.com has reliably learned that the league organizers are in talks with a number of stakeholders including SuperSport who could come on board as official broadcast partners.
A team managers meeting to be held before the season kicks off is expected to discuss and ratify the criteria of awarding the league champions when and if the federation gets the projected funds.
Currently there are two formats that could be adopted, one where only the top winning teams get the money at the end of the season and another proposal to have teams winning a certain amount of money per win throughout the season. In the second proposal, the team with the highest number of wins (champions) will definitely walk home with the highest amount.
According to KBF’s Vitalis Gode, the second proposal is aimed at ensuring all teams in the league benefit. Gode adds that this will also raise the level of competition amongst teams since there will be a lot at stake.
The Kenya Basketball league last season received a major boost when SuperSports announced their partnership with the Federation. According to officials, the live broadcast of matches is said to have elevated the standards of the game as well as increased chances of financial partnership between the federation, clubs and sponsors.

GAMBIA : GBA Committed to Develop Gambia's Basketball - Pro

The Executive Committee of The Gambia Basketball Association (GBA) is committed to ensuring that the sport will be developed in the country and in extension target a larger player base.
These remarks were made by the public relations officer (PRO) of the Association, Sandeji Njie, who was speaking to Observer Sports in an exclusive interview at the end of the 3-on-3 basketball competition at the Independence Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking further, Njie thanked their partners like the US Embassy for making sure that the tournament was a success. He however pointed out that the sport has been dormant for nearly a decade but reiterated their commitment to ensuring that basketball regains its past glory days.
PRO Njie also disclosed that they have seen some young talents they would like to nurture to become professionals in future, but he was quick to point out that they have a very daunting task as an association before they can achieve their dreams. He also pointed out that the 3-on-3 tournament will be used as a benchmark in their efforts to develop the sport.
The basketball PRO further opined that seeing several fans and members of the diplomatic and consular corps coming together to watch the games is an encouraging sign that the sport is on the right track to glory.
The secretary general of the GBA, Abdoulie Jallow, expressed heartfelt joy and happiness for the successful completion of the tournament. According to him, the level of competition shown is enough encouragement to say that Gambian basketball is coming back to life once again.
Speaking further, SG Jallow noted that the purpose for which the competition was organised is being achieved, adding that they would use other future competitions to learn from their weaknesses, from the organisational aspect to the standard of refereeing, from which they will be able to improve on so as to make the game more appealing to the population.
He remarked that the 3-on-3 tournament has given opportunity to everyone to showcase their talents in basketball, noting that they would like to capitalise on the momentum the games has already created, by teaming up as an executive committee to come up with the schedule for the new domestic league season.
Also speaking to this reporter was the Charge d' Affaires at the US Embassy, Richard Yoneoka, who assessed the overall tournament as a success. He described the competition as a wonderful tournament for the young people who were able to express themselves in the field of play.
He also complimented his US Embassy team for what he described as their wonderful performance during the games, noting that they really had some fun. "Looking at the overall tournament, it is a very great competition and we as the US Embassy would not hesitate to continue helping The Gambia Basketball Association (GBA) to develop basketball in The Gambia," he added.
"By giving medals to the respective winners and runners up," he went on, "it would serve as a source of motivation to the young ones to take up basketball seriously". Yoneoka concluded by thanking the GBA for organisng such a tournament while commending the sponsors and collaborators for successful games.

20 January 2014

KENYA : Classic Basketball League Throws of On March 15

THE 2014 National classic basketball league throws off March 15 with matches in Nairobi, Mombasa and Nakuru.
According to the calendar of events released by Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) fixtures secretary Joseph Amoko, the league - both premier and lower division will have some 477 games in both the regular season and the Play offs.
He revealed that the Play off quarter finals will involve 36 matches and will be played in the best of three series.
The semi finals will have 30 matches while there will be 15 in the finals all to be played in the best of five series. Co-operative Bank of Kenya and Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) are the reigning men and women champions.
Equity Bank, Strathmore University, Ulinzi Blades and Footprints were promoted and will battle it out with the best in the top tier.
The KBF season starts  on February County with the national coaches clinic in all counties. Nairobi will host the AGM at a date yet to be determined.

KENYA : Top Sides Enter Feb Jones Ball At Nyayo

Kenya Basketball Federation league champions Co-op Bank and Kenya Ports Authority are among the 16 Fiba Africa Zone Five teams to compete at the inaugural George Jones (Sports Cup between February 13 and 16 at the Nyayo Stadium.
Joining Co-op in the men's competition are Ulinzi Warriors and KPA from Kenya, Uganda's Falcons and the Warriors. Tanzania will have Don Bosco while Burundi will be represented by Urunani and Espoir.
Three more Kenyan teams, Strathmore University, United States International University (USIU) and KPA will join Ulinzi in the women's event.
They will be competing against Uganda's KCCA Leopards and Christian University, Don Bosco of Tanzania and Burundi's Berco Stars.
Winners in the men's category will bag Sh500, 000 while the winning women'steam will pocket Sh300, 000. Second-placed teams in both categories will pocket Sh100, 000 each while best players in the two categories will get Sh50, 000 each.

RWANDA : Espoir for B-ball tourney in Kenya

Espoir coach Jean Bahufite (right) takes his players through a training session last season. Times Sport / File.
Rwanda’s reigning champions, Espoir basketball club have been invited for the inaugural GJ (Dr. George Jones) sports medical center tournament scheduled for February 13-16 at Nyayo indoor stadium in Nairobi, Kenya.
News of the invite was confirmed by Espoir head coach Jean Bahufite on Friday. He said his team will start preparations today.
Doctor George Jones, based in Dubai, on Friday launched his entry into Africa more specifically in Kenya by unveiling his ‘transform minimally invasive surgery center’ in Africa that will be based in Nairobi.
At the same occasion, he officially announced the 2014 GJ club basketball tournament for East Africa that will attract 16 men and women’s teams.
Nyamirambo-based Espoir were invited following their superb performance in  two consecutive seasons where they won two league and play-offs titles respectively, suffering just a single defeat all season and finishing  unbeaten a season before. 

They also won one Fiba Africa Zone V championship title in 2012 and were beaten in the final of last year’s edition by Burundi’s Urunani in August in Bujumbura.

The winner of the tournament will pocket Ksh500.000 (approximated Rwf3.5m).

National league to start on Feb 22

The 2014 league is scheduled to kick-off on February 22 if the Rwanda basketball federation (Ferwaba) general assembly approves the calendar when the general assembly sits this coming Sunday at the federation’s headquarters at Amahoro stadium.

Apart from approving the new calendar, the general assembly will also talk about the issue of legal status for league participants, the entry of new clubs in the league and looking for league sponsors among others.

18 January 2014

RWANDA : Rwanda wants Fiba Zone Five U19 Games moved

RWANDA Basketball Federation has expressed its desire to their Ugandan counterparts to have the Zone V U19 Championships postponed because of the country’s 20th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi slated for April and July.

Speaking to local media this week, Ferwaba president Desire Mugwiza said: “We requested the Uganda basketball federation to have the U19 competition moved since it is a sad period for Rwanda and, usually, we don’t have any sports activities in the country during that period.”

During that period every year, all sports activities come to a standstill as the country remembers the sportsmen and women, fans and administrators who passed away during the Genocide.

Among the key players killed during the Genocide include, Emmanuel Ntarugera (Gisembe), a well-known basketball player for Espoir.

If Uganda turns down Rwanda’s request and goes ahead with the tournament, only five countries might participate. They are Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Burundi and Uganda.

In a related development, the City of Mombasa will host this year’s African Zone 5 basketball club championships from August 25 to 31.

16 January 2014

KENYA : KBF Seek to Introduce Midweek Encounters

KENYA Basketball Federation (KBF) will introduce mid-week Premier League matches this year to enable the programme to end early enough, a top official revealed yesterday. Joseph Amoko, the KBF fixtures secretary said the federation is concerned about the league dragging on for too long for the last few years and want to reduce the playing time to enable players to have enough rest before the new season.
This system, he noted will help spread the matches and have the league end in good time. He observed that for the last few years, the league has dragged on for too long because of the number of teams involved. The last match in the fixture last year was played just two days before the Christmas holiday .
It involved eventual winners Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and United States International University (USIU). KPA took the series 3-2 to earn their 14th women's title. For this to be realised, KBF are already holding talks with a potential sponsor over the matter. Amoko said the 2014 season will tip off next month with the pre-season tournament planned for February 22-23at the Railways Club.

ZIMBABWE : Daunting Task for New BUZ Executive

Newly elected Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) executive led by president Addison Chiware faces a daunting task of transforming the fortunes of the sport.
Chiware and his team were elected at the BUZ Annual Congress, at the National Sports Stadium last weekend.
Other members of the executive include the secretary general Joe Mujuru, competitions director Forbes Shuva and Skhumbuzo Ndlovu who will take charge of the Technical and Development portfolio.
Charmaine Chamboko will be responsible for Women and Youth Development while Shinga Magede retained his position at the helm of the Athletes' Commission.
Basketball in the country has recently been far from impressive, both on and off the pitch.
Flagship teams have in many occasions failed to fulfill international assignments largely due to financial difficulties or have performed badly on national duty.
Chiware was however optimistic of a bright future.
"I think failure to attend tournaments will be a thing of the past now given the new dispensation of a stand-alone ministry of sports," Chiware said.
"Minister Andrew Langa has also promised us that we will have the full backing of the government. But we are also going into partnerships with multinational companies, a move which will ease some of our financial burdens," he added.
Chiware said they were looking forward to the task ahead as they seek to take basketball to another level in the next four years. Their focus would be on winning medals in various regional, continental and international events.
"The next step is podium performance, we want to see the best level of basketball. We want medals starting from our junior level especially at this year's Zone Six Under-20 Games."
Zimbabwe basketball has clearly failed to make a mark on the international stage with a combined ranking of 113 and joint 24rd in Africa.
It is the women team, ranked 73th in the world that has continued to show promise, qualifying for continental tournaments, while their male counterparts have been nothing short of mediocre in performance.
Half of the personnel in the previous executive failed to last the distance of their term citing other commitments. It will be interesting to see if the incumbent executive can see the term through in one piece.

GAMBIA : Rebirth of Gambian Basketball in Full Swing

The game of basketball had been dormant in the country for almost a decade until the present executive of the Gambia Basketball Association (GBA) took office, a couple of years ago. The sport has since witnessed a remarkable transformation with the executive working tirelessly to bring back its glory days.
This past weekend, the GBA, in partnership with the United States Embassy in Banjul, Africell, Skye Bank, DBC and West Coast Radio (WCR) completed the first phase of this year's 3 on 3 basketball tournament, at the Independence Stadium Court in Bakau. The tournament which is in its second year, drew massive participation from young and old players.
Speaking to Observer Sports ahead of the final instalment of games this weekend, the secretary -general of the GBA, Abdoulie Jallow pointed out that the impressive turnout was because of the fact that the fans and players had missed the game which took a break, due to the rainy season.
"People have come out, they have been missing basketball and as we are trying to complete the third day of the games, they have been going on successfully and it seems like everybody is enjoying themselves. We had promised that this second season of our executive, we are going to be more exciting and we are in no doubt in that direction. We hope that the season will be completed in this way, as we looked at both having fun while also looking grassroots level. We want to take basketball to another level," Jallow told this reporter.
He added: "We just have to take this to be the ice-breaker. When you see everybody playing together and mixing, you see the charge d ' affaire of the US embassy, the US peace corp volunteers, you see Africell here, you see other teams from other institutions, it's just an ice-breaker that we all want. We are into developing basketball and we would want to take the game to another level. So when we come to the proper competitive games,we would compete fiercely but fairly just as my president (Papa Njie) would say."
When asked about the drive behind the untiring energy from the GBA executive to witness a turnaround in the fortunes of the game in the country, Jallow opined that it is all derived from the passion for sport.
Jallow, who concluded by sayng that he has spotted talents during the tournament, said what is necessary to nurture those promising talents is to capacitate basketball coaches, which he said the GBA is looking into in order to make their respective players better.
Also, speaking to Observer Sports was the president of the GBA, Muhammadou Papa Njie, who sounded his immense impression at the participation of the tournament. "Words cannot even express how I feel, [and] I think that also goes to all my executive members, [because] we were not expecting the turnout we got. We had about 40 teams in both men and women categories and this is the first time in the history of Gambian basketball to get all these teams together. So, we have achieved our target already even without playing the finals. I also really want to thank the supporters who came out in their large numbers. So am really excited and it just goes to show that basketball is about to be the number one sport in The Gambia," the confident- looking Njie intimated.
When quizzed as to the rationale behind the tournament, Njie replied that it's another form of basketball, slightly different from the standard form of the game which is five. He added that the 3 on 3 is played on a half court, but the rules to the competitions remained the same.
"Basically, it's another form of basketball that is a crowd puller and this is the second time we are doing it. It is a signal we give out to people that the season is about to start and we also want to show to everybody that basketball is not about the active person, but is also for the youth, young girls, young boys, the elderly [as well]," he stressed.
In conclusion, the basketball boss singled out appreciation to both the volleyball and wrestling associations for their support throughout the tournament. He equally thanked all the sponsors who have helped GBA towards the success of the tournament. Muhammed Njie and Adama Drammeh, both league players expressed delight at the tournament and then thanked the GBA for reviving the game.

UGANDA : Ferwaba Requests Fuba for Change of Date in Zone 5 Games

Following the Zone Five Basketball Games scheduled in May 2014 in Uganda, the local basketball federation-Ferwaba has requested the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association (FUBA) to switch the date of the competition upon a claim that, it will be during the 100-days of commemorating the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.
The Ferwaba president, Desire Mugwiza said, "We requested the Uganda basketball federation that the U19 competition be moved since it is a sad period for Rwanda and usually, most of the competitions don't take place in the country."
When asked if a response was received, Mugwiza said, "Up to now, the Ugandan federation has not officially replied to the request."
During that period every year, most of the sports activities come to a standstill for the country to remember the sports men and women, fans and administrators who passed away during that period. Among the players killed during the genocide include Emmanuel Ntarugera (Gisembe) , a commonly well-known basketball player from Espoir.
In general, the basketball fraternity lost many players and fans such as Gisembe and others, a reason as to why the country continues to grieve for the athletes who passed away.
Six countries will compete in this year's Zone 5 in Uganda including Rwanda Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt, Burundi and hosts Uganda

RWANDA : Rwanda up five places in Fiba ranking


Espoir’s Lionel Hakizimana (L) and Pascal Karekezi, seen here in a past game. They are two of Rwanda’s most promising youngsters. Times Sport/Timothy Kisambira

RWANDA Men’s basketball team moved five places, from 67th to 62nd, in the latest Fiba Continental Championships ranking released on Tuesday. With 6.6 points, Rwanda is ranked 62nd in the world, 12th in Africa and 2nd in Zone V, behind Egypt. Uganda is ranked 86th and Kenya is a place below in 87th position in the world while in Africa, Uganda which is ranked 25th still beats Kenya which is in the 26th position.
The women team dropped two places to 63rd with four points while USA, Australia and Russia top the world ranking.
In Africa’s women ranking, Rwanda is ranked 11th. Mali, Angola and Senegal are ranked first, second and third respectively.
USA, Spain and Argentina make the top three best ranked men’s teams in the World, while Angola is the best ranked African country in 15th position followed by Nigeria and Tunisia in 18th and 23rd positions respectively.
The Rwanda Basketball Federation, Ferwaba chairman Desire Mugwiza said yesterday: “We are happy with the improvements. This shows that we did well at both club and national team levels last year, and also in terms of giving a chance to local players.”
The men’s team current ranking is attributed to last year’s performance at the Fiba Afro-basket Championship held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire where the country finished tenth.
Following a 54-76 loss to Tunisia in the 9th/10th position playoff, Rwanda went two places up the grid having finished in 12th position at the 2011 edition in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
The Zone V representatives are yet to put up a better performance than they did at the 2009 edition of the biennial event where Rwanda finished in ninth position in Libya.

Contact email: bonnie.mugabe[at]newtimes.co.rw

15 January 2014

SOMALIA : East and Central Africa Inter City Basketball Committee Member Visits Mogadishu

Members from the East and Central Africa Inter City basketball Committee held a lengthy meeting with Somali basketball Federation vice president for development and technical affairs Mrs Hawa Sheik Ahmed Taako and during the meeting both sides discussed issues relating promotion of basketball in the war-ravaged country plus Somalia's stronger representation in this year's inter cities competition to be held in Dar Es Salaam.
The meeting which took place in London over the weekend was arranged by former Somali basketball Federation Secretary General and current Inter-city committee media and marketing commissioner Engineer Bana Abdalla Ali who is respected in the country as the man who helped the 'restoration' of Somalia's representation in African basketball committees after 20 years of absence.
Somali basketball Federation vice president for development and technical affairs, the iron lady of Somali basketball Mrs. Hawa Sheik Ahmed Taako who first addressed at the meeting said she was very happy to see such high profile individuals from both FIBA Africa zone 5 and Inter-city and committee and she outlined the current situation of Somali basketball federation and its strategy of the promotion of basketball in the war-devastated country.
"Somalia was once well known for its basketball power in Africa and after decades of civil wars we are now back as you might have witnessed the exhibition of our national team in the last FIBA Africa Zone 5 competition, but we still need the international assistance since we are recovering from the ruins caused by the decades-long civil wars in the country" The Somali basketball iron lady told the meeting over the weekend.
The Somali basketball Federation vice president said that cities in her country were fully prepared for the participation in the next inter-City games to be held in the Tanzanian capital Dar Es Salaam in May this year. She praised the inter city committee for the step which she said was encouraging the promotion of basketball in cities across the east and central Africa region.
For his part, Inter City committee member and FIBA Africa commissioner Mr. Agina Wesonga (Kenya) said that his committee was fully aware of the basketball growth in Somalia adding that Somalia was a key member nation in African basketball family and they were happy with the return of peace and the promotion of basketball power in Somalia after decades of civil wars.
"I praise Mr. Bana Abdalla Ali for helping me to know more about basketball in Somalia and on the behalf of the inter-city committee I announce that we are fully prepared to help Somalia as much as we can--the Vice presidents Mrs. Hawa invited me to Somalia and I promise to be in Mogadishu as soon as possible to see myself the continuation of the development on the ground" Mr. Agina Wesonga told the meeting over the weekend.

13 January 2014

KENYA : KBF Western Branch Announce Calendar

Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Western branch have released the calendar of events for this season. The season opens with a four-day coaching and officiating clinic at St. Peter's Mumias Boys High School on Tuesday.
Participant are required to carry own stationery, some blank CDs, sporting gear for practical sessions and meet his or her won expenses for meals and accommodation. "This year, the beginners will have a separate program from the veterans.
Written, video and fitness test will be administered at end of clinic for certification," said branch secretary Ken Egovua. Referees' who hope to officiate national school games and other tournaments have been asked to attend the clinic.
Participation fee is Sh2,000 per participant. The clinic will be followed immediately with the New Era tournament on Friday and Saturday next week at Kakamega Police Canteen.
The annual Mike Arunga (Makambo) tournament is scheduled for January 25-26 at St. Peters' Mumias while Nzoia Open tournament will be staged on February 1-2 at St. Brigid's Girls, Kiminini and Kitale Technical.
Champions' Cup will be next on line at Mundika Boys (Feb 8-9) while Inter final edition will wind uop the season in December at Kakamega Police Canteen.

10 January 2014

Egypt at the Dubai’s international Tournament

The Men's National Basketball Team Egypt will take part in the 25th edition of the Dubai International Tournament as part of its preparation for the 2014 World Cup. 
Only seven of the 12 players who helped Egypt cause one of the biggest shocks in the AfroBasket history last summer will be competing in Dubai.
Marei and Anas Osama Mahmoud are not traveling with the team due to academic reasons in the USA.
Egypt started their training camp last month in Cairo and counts with a few new faces.
"I need to access some young players who might represent the country in the future," said Aboul Kheir.
"I need to make sure they have as much potential as they have shown playing for youth national teams as well as their clubs."
Aboul Kheir says that so far the competition to make the final roster is high, and the Dubai even may help him to decide.
The 10-day tournament, organised by the United Arab Emirates Basketball Association, is to take place at the Dubai Al-Ahli Club centre from 9 to 18th January 2014.

UGANDA : Steely Omondi joins Oilers from Falcons

Kenyan Jeff Omondi (R) seizes possession for Falcons during last season’s final play-off series against City Oilers at Lugogo. Oilers won the series 4-3.
Kenyan Jeff Omondi (R) seizes possession for Falcons during last season’s final play-off series against City Oilers at Lugogo. Oilers won the series 4-3. PHOTO by Ismail Kezaala. 
By Sande Bashaija

Posted  Thursday, January 9   2014 at  02:00
To many, City Oilers were surprise champions of the Airtel-Fuba League last season. This year, Oilers will start the league as outright favourites for the title.
With the addition of Kenyan Geoff Omondi from Falcons and the likely acquisition of DMark Power’s Ben Komakech, the champions are set to send out an intimidating squad. “Omondi has agreed to join us. He will add a lot to the team,” Oilers team manager Silver Rugambwa said in a recent interview, confirming the capture of one of the most tenacious players in the Ugandan league.
“He is versatile and will give us options at number one and three. We also struggled to score from outside the arc last season and Omondi is one of the best three-point shooters in the league.” Falcons official Henry Ssemanda, however, expressed shock at the news of his star’s departure.
“We haven’t cleared anyone to leave the club,” Ssemanda, who joined Falcons management after the death of his brother John Ssimbwa, the club patron, said. “I gave Omondi transport to Kenya after the finals and haven’t heard from him since.”
Omondi was one of the best performers for Falcons as they recovered from a poor regular season where they finished seventh to reach the play-off finals. The former Rhino and UCU Canons star was unlucky to get injured in the final series. He missed Game 2, 3 and 5 with a groin problem. He had to take pain-killing jabs to feature in Falcons’ 75-63 Game 6 victory.
But after Oilers, playing in their first topflight season won the decider 72-64 to wrap up the title, it was clear they would attract the best talent in the country. One such talent that might make Oilers a more robust outfit is two-time MVP Komakech.
Unwilling to give away too much, Rugambwa admitted they were in contact with Komakech but nothing concrete has been done. Although Power are doing everything in their means to hold onto the calmness-personified guard, a trustworthy source has revealed Komakech has made up his mind for the switch.
The departure of the free-scoring Kami Kabange could, however, leave Oilers with a gap too big to fill. Kabange, a favourite for play-offs MVP, is closing in on a switch to Al Rayyan, one of the most successful clubs in Qatar. “He was meant to go to Morocco but had a change of mind,” Rugambwa revealed. “While the offer from Morocco was bigger financially, we feel Qatar is a better destination for his career.” In case the Rwandan talisman’s transfer succeeds, Oilers plan to raid Rwandan side Espoir and sign Kabange’s former teammate Bienvenue Ngandu. In Ngandu, Oilers will have another star, who was recently voted the best defensive player for the second season running in the Rwandan league. He was also named MVP for the just-concluded season.

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