LIBYA : Ready to Host Afrobasket 2009

Libya is ready and well prepared to host the Men’s Africa Championship for FIBA, Afrobasket Libya 2009 scheduled for August 5-15 in the Jamahiriya push Libya into the sports events scene as an organiser.

Mr. Omar Elbarshushi, president of the Libyan Basketball Federation, and the organising committee told a press conference at the Shahat Hall at the Corinthia Bab Africa Hotel in Tripoli, that all the sports arenas in Tripoli and Benghazi that are to be used during the august event have been refurbished to the fullest standard. He said that no stone is being left unturned to assure the success of the tournament.

The staging of the tournament comes at a crucial time, in the year that Libya is marking an important milestone in the country’s history, the 40th anniversary of the great El Fatah First of September Revolution.

The international basketball event will spearhead the occasion of the Anniversary, with the Libyan Leader, Muammar Al-Qathafi, who is also president of the African Union, wishing for the competition to serve as a gathering of the youth of Africa, and for it to be the biggest youth event year on the continent.

As such, upon the advice of the Local Organising Committee, LOC, a new date was set for the launch last Tuesday to accommodate all requests made by the many personalities who wished to be present.

Later in the evening, the official logo of the Tournament was unveiled during a gala dinner during which renowned North African musician Cheb Khaled (Algeria), the popular francophone West African youth group Magic System and popular Libyan artists provided the entertainment.

The Libyan Basketball Federation is aware of the tough task ahead as it also tries to be successful on the court and in order to reach this goal a new, experienced American coach has been appointed. Kevin Nick Ben, mostly know as coach to American University teams, said he was thankful of the opportunity accorded him by the LBA “to create a winner”.

The American has prepared a programme for his players to follow in order to make a success of the occasion. He is running daily training sessions and will take the national squad to training camp in Turkey.

Libya will be hard pressed to succeed as Afrobasket Libya 2009 promises to be very keenly contested between 24 of the best basketball countries in Africa. They include defending champions Angola, and Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Cape Verde and Rwanda, who have already qualified from the ongoing heated zonal qualifiers tournaments. Eight other countries are expected to qualify until June.

During the conference, held in the presence of the General Secretary of FIBA Africa, Dr. Alphonse Bile, and Mr. Rene Williams Koue Bi, CEO of AFRISAT International, the Media and Marketing Partner, the LOC introduced the official song of the tournament sung by Alrouqi and Emad Elshitiwi.