South Africa's basketball community

SA Basketball – From the Eyes of LOP Basketball

By on May 22, 2008 in League

After all the comments on the LOP issue, they give their opinion on SA basketball:

Information supplied by Tshiamo Ngakane:


The single most important objective for any basketball organisation is that it shows itself to be relevant to the people that it intends to serve. For public basketball organisations it is our duty as the basketball public to hold those organisations accountable. It is our mandate as the basketball public to ensure that the decisions taken by those public organisations do in fact represent what we as the basketball public want to see happen with basketball. Those public organisations then derive their mandate from what we as the basketball public want. With a private basketball organisation it is perhaps slightly different. We suggest that the individuals running that private organisation hold themselves accountable for ensuring that the organisation remains relevant to the people it serves. Otherwise those people go elsewhere for the service they want.
LOP Basketball is a private owned entity. Is it relevant?

LOP Basketball was started in 2007 by Pro Sports Consulting when it became painfully clear that basketball in Gauteng and in fact South Africa had come to a standstill with little or no true activity happening. We decided then that our organisation would get involved in the game because we have something to offer that others had not provided. We took responsibility. Personal responsibility! Which is something we believe was lacking in basketball. The question raised is how can a private company be expected to truly do justice to the basketball community? Why should anybody expect a private company to do the right thing for basketball? For us the answer is simple. As a company we see basketball as an industry. So the responsibility that we have taken is one that means we have invested in our personal capacity in this industry. Unfortunately this is not a viable industry at this time so the losses are heavy. But we justify the personal investment we have made in this industry because we have taken a long term view of it. It is an industry that is still in its infancy and we will make whatever investments we can make in order to rear that industry into one that eventually one day rivals the big 3 of soccer, rugby and cricket. These are big dreams…but basketball has to dream big and the players in this industry have to make the investment into this dream today so that we can realise it in future. Every Monday we look forward to reading articles about basketball from Tshepo Ditshego, Juice and on and it saddens me that these dedicated passionate people work for Stanlib, Finweek and the like (thank you to these organisations for looking after our people in the interim). These guys should be full time basketball correspondents and media analysts. Our industry has no place for them to be fully dedicated however. If you are reading this the likelihood is that it is your story too. This story is repeated many times over. It is heartbreaking to see basketball students at all our institutions graduating and then not having the opportunity make sustainable living in the sport that got them there. It makes no sense to us that 0.01% (probably less) of basketball players on scholarships in various institutions are absorbed by the industry that helped them get there. To that we have said no more. Our organisation will do everything in its power to make the changes in basketball that will see this industry grow to the point where talented people within this industry are not lost to the financial, engineering, manufacturing or other industries. We are in direct competition to all those other industries, not even just other sporting codes. We need to realise this and get ourselves to the level where we can compete. This is the big picture that we aspire to. This is our dream. It cannot be our dream alone for no private organisation can invest in and grow an entire industry all by itself. I am convinced everyday that this is not our dream alone. Midrand Graduate Institute, Momentum, Wits Alumni Basketball Club, Putos Phly, Pretoria Heat Basketball Club, Raptors Basketball Club, Rebels Basketball Club, Monash University, Boston Media House, Egoli Magic, Varsity College, Scorpions Basketball Club, Juice,, Tshepo Ditshego, KP Ndlovu, Tlou Networks, Darkchild Productions, ESPN and the many fans and spectators we have had at our games share that dream with us.

We are not obsessed with ownership of anything. We are not obsessed with control. We are not obsessed with ownership of a league. We have even gone so far as to make that clear in open meetings that we had with clubs and stakeholders. We are only obsessed with the basketball industry. An industry is not something that one person or organisation can own. Pro Sports, Gauteng Basketball Association, Basketball South Africa, Tshiamo Ngakane, Cabby Magongwa, Naftal Chongo, Peter Makhubela, Tsepo Nyewe nor any other individual or organisation can own the basketball industry. Our role as players within this industry is to ensure that it flourishes by investing in it. To this end we have attempted to work closely with various partners in order to start growing basketball. Our partners have included all the parties mentioned above and the Johannesburg Basketball Association (JBA), an affiliate district of the provincial structure (GBA), with whom Pro Sports (LOP Basketball) have an agreement. And we have not closed our doors to any other partners because we all have a role. We welcome any opportunity to engage all stakeholders including the associations with regards how best to invest in basketball and will never turn any such invitation down. If we need to look to invest in other areas other than and even instead of those which we currently invest in, we will. Our aim is only to make sure that the investment we make is the right one for us and basketball. We believe that the Gauteng Basketball Association (GBA) has made the right move by investing in basketball and we sincerely hope that they go from strength to strength. Basketball needs the GBA to run efficiently and make the right investments. We would love to partner with them – to consult on strategy, run their marketing or whatever other capacity. We want to be involved. In fact we call on the entire basketball community to get involved with their district associations, GBA and other provincial associations and even Basketball South Africa so that we continue to elect officials that take the game forward. We look forward to the next JBA, Ekurhululeni and GBA general meetings so that we can actively part-take and we hope that these are properly publicised by GBA so that as many people as possible from the basketball community can be represented.

Relevance is the single most important word that defines what LOP Basketball and Pro Sports Consulting are about. Before all else our goal is to be relevant to basketball players, coaches, fans and administrators. There is no feeling like sitting in a locker room before the big game, looking across at your brothers, seeing nervousness in their eyes knowing that they see the same, with tension in the air and everybody just itching to go out and releasing that energy on court. There is no feeling like winning with those brothers. There is no feeling like losing with them. Basketball organisations that are relevant will provide the environment where that feeling exists. They will provide that feeling over and over again, better all the time, the stakes always higher and the pressure greater. One day millions will watch on tv and thousands will have paid to fill the stadium where your children will be celebrating a basketball victory. Some of us at that time will remember names like Touch, Neo Mothiba, Gilchrest, Emma Ledwaba, Sophie, Lebo Mashao, Solly Mashiane, Craig Bonner, Flosh, and many others. Perhaps those names will flash across the television screens in acknowledgement of those that laid the path. We will know then that we succeeded in protecting their legacy. As an organisation that is what we are about. We have taken a step back and thought carefully about what it is that basketball needs, what has held it back and where we can make a difference in order to bring back that feeling for the true lovers of this game and protect what is our undervalued and yet rich South African basketball legacy. Then we will know we were relevant. That’s it. Period.

Tshiamo Ngakane
General Manager
LOP Basketball


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There Are 30 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Katlego says:

    Don’t wanna make this a trivial matter but is it just me or are some members GBA sensitive and touchy touchy? 🙂 !

  2. Springs says:

    Clearly there is more to this whole debate than meets the eye. For the sake of Basketball, the truth must come out and each one of us should take responsibility for what is happening now, cuz in the end we all contribute to in somehow.
    Just out of curiosity, if LOP and JBA entered into an agreement that both parties are happy with, how could JBA, which depends upon GBA and reports to it enter into such an agreement without GBA’s blessings?

  3. Demystifier (The Truth) says:

    “How could JBA, which depends upon GBA and reports to it enter into such an agreement without GBA’s blessings?”

    – For the simple reason that in my opinion JBA had no reason to believe (and rightfully so) that GBA would act in the manner that it has. The reality is that the vice-chairman of GBA is the chairman of JBA (how can he not know that GBA was against this). This whole GBA thing was a complete blind-side move conducted by a few individuals and its total abuse of authority. Last yr Tuks played cos they didn have a problem playing…all of a sudden they too completely disagree with LOP. It was unprecedented and there is nothing like it that has ever been done within FIBA. Unprecedented!! In basketball we call this a weak side back-door move.

    There is more coming from GBA – next thing you know they going to completely chuck JBA out or something stupid like that because they are conducting apparent audits of associations….watch that space.

  4. Cabby says:

    I have a very good feeling that things are going to be sorted out sooner than latter.

    I trully beleive that after the JBA meeting, things are going to start looking up. A group of people volunteered to take on the legalities around the above arguements amongst many other things. Hopefully the munites of the meeting will be posted on this website so people can have an idea of the way forward regarding all basketball issues. My exit point is that for basketball to keep the much needed brains in the sport, it needs to create business opportunities within basketball, otherwise people are going to move to greener pastures. The future is not as bleak as you may think it is, it is just a matter of time and agreements here and there and we are well on our way to greatness. The match between Egoli Magic and SMU is testimony to that…if you did not watch the match, well, Egoli Magic won by seven after leading the entire game with as much as 20 points as one point of the game….now watch the space…I think we are getting there.

  5. Sam says:

    i think the GBA should let the LOP run things for now…. let the LOP establish a blueprint of how things should be and perhaps in two years allign LOP and GBL.. ttha is my solution to all of this as i think the allignment of the two will provide for an executive or administration derived from the two leagues which will be for the graeter good of the sport in Gauteng.. it can be used as a blueprint as well for the other provinces that are struggling.. am i dreaming??? maybe but this sure aint a nightmare…….
    we all need to follow the structures that govern sport in its hierachy.. we all need to recognise the association that governs bbal in Africa first, then in South Africa to the province and lastly to the regions…and this should be in that oder… which leaves a question where does the LOP fit in all of this??? is the LOP only for joburg teams and are there plans to include the rest of Gauteng??