BOTSWANA : Six clubs join basketball league

FRANCISTOWN: Six clubs have joined the national basketball league, an official has said. Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) chairperson, Kabo Khama said four clubs will join the men competition while two will be in the women's league at the start of the 2011 season. This will bring the number to 14 in the men's league and six in women's category.

Former league sides, Dolphins and Drillers, newly-registered Titans and Jwaneng Bullets, will join the men's league. Khama said Dolphins will be rejoining the league for the second time after their brief suspension in 2009 when they failed to raise a team and honour fixtures. Drillers quit the league in 2007 when the competition was suspended due to financial constraints.

"The two (Dolphins and Drillers) used to be in the league before. We encountered serious problems in 2007 that forced Drillers to quit the league while Dolphins failed to raise a team to honour fixtures," Khama explained.

In the women's league, Gaborone-based Nugget Queens and Panpheres will join Police, Relic, BDF V and NIIT to bring the number to six. Most of Nugget Queens' players are from the Botswana Integrated Sports Association (BISA) games.Khama said they expect to register one more club from Francistown before the season kicks-off.

"We are looking to register Splinters women's team before the season starts," he said. The season has been tentatively set to start in the second weekend of April.

Meanwhile, BBA will host the first edition of 'The Max' tournament in Gaborone this weekend to support former national team and BDF V player, Malebogo 'Max' Molefe who is disabled. The event starts at the University of Botswana (UB) courts tomorrow and features players and celebrities.

Molefe miraculously survived a shooting incident in 2009, when her ex-boyfriend opened fire.

"She is a former basketball player who survived the shooting. Her mates in conjunction with BBA organised this tournament as a way of support as she is no longer working," Khama said.

The theme of the tournament is 'The Max Against Violence'. Tickets will be sold at P20 at the gate. Donation forms will be available during the games.

Multichoice Botswana is among the companies that promised to sponsor the tournament and has donated a Dstv decoder to Molefe. One of the organisers of the tournament, Boineelo Magaga, appealed to different companies to assist the former national team player who needs money for physiotherapy. "Max's life has changed as she is not working and she is the only child in her family. The incident also forced her parent to quit her job, as she was self-employed as a farmer. She is home taking care of Molefe," Magaga said. Vee, Robbie Rob, Scar and DJ O'Neal of RB 2 will be playing for the celebrities against journalists.