The Malawi Basketball Veterans national team leaves the country next week for Harare, Zimbabwe to battle it out in the five nations Central African Basketball Championship against the hosts, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and Mozambique.
According Malawi Veteran national team technical advisor, Arnold Khongono, the country’s basketball old-hands will head off for Harare next Thursday March 24th 2016 to participate in the six day Veterans Central African Basketball Championships which will run through the Easter Holidays.
“We are pleased to announce that we have been invited to compete in a five nation veterans’ international basketball tournament where we are expected to fight for glory against Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Mozambique and we are hopeful that we will do well because we are prepared and we believe that that we are equal to the task,” Khongono told Nyasa Times in an interview.
Khongono said he is satisfied with the preparation thus far as all the players who are due to make the trip are all fit and currently training so hard in preparation for the tournament.
He said: “We are ready to go. We have all the hopes that we will do well and perhaps bring some glory home. We know we are going there to represent out country and therefore we know the stakes are high because our national pride is at stake.”
Khongono said the basketball veterans league aims at encouraging former basketball players to be active physically and fit at all times.
However, Khongono said the Malawi Basketball Veteran League is appealing to the corporate world and individual sponsors to come along with financial and material support not only for the trip but for the running and sustenance of the league.
Said Khongono: “We appeal to the companies for financial support as we prepare for the trip to Harare and we also appeal for financial support for the running and sustenance of the league. We are also appealing to individuals of goodwill to come forward and support us in any way they can, financial or moral. We would greatly appreciate.”
Currently, the Malawi National team veterans’ basketballers are self-sponsored.
The veterans’ basketball national team have also called a UK based basketball star Shenton Banda who is currently playing for London Warriors to travel to Zimbabwe for the tournament.
Banda said he is excited to be part of the team that travels to Zimbabwe next week.
“It is always a great experience playing one’s country at any level. I am honoured to be part of the team. I believe we still got it on our minds for that’s where the most part of the game is played and I hope we will do better,” he said.
Lilongwe based basketball old-timer Frank Kunje, who plays for Hoops told Nyasa Times in a that he strongly believes that winning the tournament in Zimbabwe is possible as the Malawian side is mentally prepared for the challenge and that they (players) have a winning mindset adding that they will go onto the court with nothing but a winning mentality.
“The game is played in the mind a little bit as far as Malawi Basketball veterans are concerned. We are more than ready,” said Kunje.
Meanwhile the Malawi Veterans National Basketball League technical team has released a strong 23-man team to report for training in their respective zones in readiness for the Harare jaunt.
The names of the players are as follows;
- Khama Mphepo – Hoops
- Hope Ngwira – Hoops
3.Chance Malemia – Hoops
- Frank Mandala – Hoops
- Frank Kunje -Hoops
- Hamlet Kamtengeni -Legends
- Gift Phoya -Hoops
- Justin Masanjika – FMB
- Robert Munthali – FMB
- Gift Njete – Hoops
- Richard Banda -LEGENDS
- Carlos Varela -Hoops
- Banthali Banda -Hoops
- Shenton Banda. – London warriors (UK)
- Alinafe kasiya -Hoops
- Mike Chilewe Jr – Hoops
- Kingsley Gwaza- Hoops
- Chawanangwa Kayira – Hoops
- Thoko Kamangira – Hoops
- Kondwani Chavula – Hoops
- Obed Mbudo Nyirongo – Legends
- Raymond Banda – Legends
- Horace Phiri – Hoops