Hoops! with KAONA MWEMBE
CAPITAL Fisheries answered the call by the senior menâ€™s national basketball team to help them travel to Vancouver, Canada, for the first World Indigenous Basketball Challenge which takes place in three weeks â€˜time.
Twenty teams comprising clubs and national sides will compete at Simon Fraser University.
It will be the first time ever for the senior menâ€™s national team to participate at a world basketball event and most of all outside Africa.
It will also serve as an opportunity for the locally-based national team players to gel with their foreign-based colleagues as they prepare for the qualifying series of the Afro basket Championships which are scheduled to run from August 2016 to May 2017.
US-based players Given Kalipinde, Patson Siame and Arthur Zulu have all confirmed their availability for national duty.
China-based Chansa Mufwaume who is keen to don national colours has dropped out due to club commitments.
The importance of supporting this cause cannot therefore be overemphasised seeing that there has been a call for national glory in all sports and not just football.
The tournament in Canada may just serve as a starting point for a great future.
The company has contributed US$3,000 (about K30,000) towards the targeted K600,000 to cover costs of air tickets and visa fees which still leaves room for other corporate bodies to chip in and make this a reality.
Capital Fisheries are not just the only ones to have come on board but there are others too like Lunga Resources, a Kitwe-based mining company that has injected US$5,000 (K50,000).
How about the companies that are reaping daily profits through the players by way of the products that they and their families buy from them?
May I say that this call is not about the 12 players going on holiday but going out there to fly the national flag in readiness for bigger challenges ahead.
I would also implore the Zambian community in British Columbia and other parts of Canada to mobilise themselves to support the boys from their homeland, materially and morally.
South Sudan, which is the only other African national team that will be at the tournament, has mustered support through Ms South Sudan USA who has used her status to raise funds for her countryâ€™s national basketball team.
Meanwhile, the Afrobasket qualifiers which take on a new format that started last year will be the highlight activity for the continent besides the club championships for men and women where Green Buffaloes, Matero Magic, and UNZA Honeys are expected to participate.
The Afrobasket qualifiers will be played on a home and away basis.
Early preparations are cardinal especially for the men who this time around have to contend with former African champions Angola.
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Hoops! with KAONA MWEMBE