Kavalata on the future of basketball

By Tracy Tafirenyika 

THE Khomas Basketball Association (KBA) which runs one of the biggest basketball leagues in Namibia, is advocating for more funding and better infrastructure for the advancement of the sport locally.  
“Our biggest challenge right now is infrastructure in terms of basketball courts, as well as lack of funding. Therefore the game will improve if more courts are available countrywide,” said KBA secretary general Mike Pinto Kavalata as he spoke to Confidente, to give an insight into the latest developments in the league. 
“We started the year/season with our traditional pre-season tournament called the Independence Cup. Due to the international pandemic, as well as following the state of emergency declaration as announced by the President, all games and sporting activities were suspended. We are guided by the Namibian Sports Commission (NSC) directives and if the situation improves for this moratorium to be lifted, we will resume the season while observing the national guidelines.” 
Kavalata urged both the public and private sectors to support KBA’s call for better courts to practise on. 
“Also if the government or NBF can help as a mediator between private schools or any other organisation that has courts; and teams in the KBA so that the teams can be allowed to use these private facilities as their training grounds.  
“In return the teams can be assigned a role of mentoring/coaching the kids at these schools in order to develop them; as well as for these teams to take the responsibility of taking care of the properties. We also encouraging private firms to support the basketball initiatives of the KBA,” he stated. 
KBA falls under the Namibian Basketball Federation (NBF), which was first established in 1992. Kavalata explained that the aim and objective is to develop KBA into a fully national sponsored professional league with professional coaches and umpires, as well as to have a well-coordinated development programme for all junior basketball activities and to use this as a feeding programme for the senior KBA league. 
The league is divided into four divisions: premier division (men), first division (men), second division (men) and women’s division. 
KBA is a league based in the Khomas region, but because of its competitiveness and being better organised, it has attracted teams from other regions that want to compete on a higher level. The league has gained popularity at national level and qualifies to be a national league. In fact, the NBF has given KBA the mandate to organise a national championship as a pilot and select a national team.  
“The players and teams are generally [satisfied] with the KBA league. And for us as management we are also happy where we are now, though we are still putting in effort to improve the league each season and hopefully we will manage to turn it into a fully professional league at the end of our term or at least put in [place] the building blocks that will realise this and make it easier for the next management committee.”