Kepaletswe a gift to local basketball

26th September 2017
MASTERMIND: Kepaletswe behind BBA bloom Source:The Midweek Sun

Olebile Kepaletswe is one mastermind behind Botswana Basketball and he aspires to see the sport reaching greater heights in the country. The passionate coach has been part of the Botswana Basketball Association (BBA) since 2004. Through his industry Kepaletswe has helped to form and nurture a total number of 20 basketball teams in the North Central district.

The basketball coach boasts of an impressive resume that includes FIBA Level 1 certificate, Zonal Coordinator (North Central), and refresher courses in coaching and officiating as well as coaching Central during Botswana Games amongst others. Some of Kepaletswe's accolades include seven gold medals, two silver medals for girls’ team, one silver medal and two silver medals with the boys’ team at Boineelo Junior School between 2007 and 2016. Kepaletswe’s passion for the hoop game was ignited after he established the Tshwaragano CJSS basketball. Shortly after its formation the team qualified for the nationals. Nevertheless, Kepaletswe who is a teacher by profession, said there are some people in the sports industry who do not recognise Basketball as a serious sport. “Generally Botswana call it ball ya ma cat and perceive it to be expensive in terms of sneakers, therefore that somehow becomes a barrier for one champion out there not to utilise their talent,” he said.

Kepaletswe is of the view that most parents of Tswana medium schools do not really support Basketball players, adding that it poises the sport as being undermined. “The sport also lacks sponsorship to the extent that the league is not running since the teams are not able to meet some requirements,” he said. He stated that Basketball is the second most watched sport after football in the world and the second fastest sport after ice hockey, thereby if taken seriously in Botswana it can create better jobs for the young upcoming Basketball players.

Meanwhile the Botswana Basketball Association, Boineelo Hardy said that she really believes much in Kepaletswe because he has been in Basketball for a long time. In an interview this week, Hardy labelled him as a dedicated person in local basketball. “I am grateful for people like him because he is dedicated to the growth of Basketball. Just recently he was one of the coaches that were drafted into mobilising the three on three for fewer than 18 and as usual he is taking it on board.

They don’t even get paid but he definitely gives his time to Basketball and since he became a BISA coach in 2012, the team has always brought medals home.” Hardy said people like Kepaletswe offer inspiration and motivation for children in the sport. “They work for these activities to happen for children and not themselves. Without people like him Basketball would have a very hard time growing because we do not have enough funds to pay people to do it but he does it out of love and he does it well too,” explained Hardy. Through his skill, he has also collaborated with BDF 5 and organised an annual pre-season tournament and coaching clinic, while recruiting and helping upcoming coaches in Basketball.

He has also been a full time coach for BISA under 17 girls team for COSASA Games since 2012 to date. Kepaletswe’s dream is to see coaches and players of Basketball being sent to countries like The USA and Cuba to learn more. “It would also be ideal to at least send them to countries including Angola, Egypt, Tunisia or Senegal as these are some of the power houses of Basketball in Africa.” Kepaletswe is confident that Botswana teams will play better during the anticipated Zone VI Basketball Champions Cup to be held in Gaborone next month.

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