South Africa's basketball community

Panthers lead the 2013 BNL relay race

By on November 19, 2013 in BNL

During the Olympics the relay race, which is a combo of the best sprint athletes, usually takes place when all the other competitions are completed. This year’s Basketball National League (BNL) is a relay race in itself, with the old guard on-show leading the way for our upcoming future stars and handing the baton onto the next generation.

Without the commitment shown by some of the old generation, the success achieved by the BNL in such a short space of time would not have been possible. They have been involved on the court as players, on the sidelines as coaches, referees and administrators, and on our screens as commentators and online fundis. Most of them are professionals in their own right who see a need to give the league the push start that it requires in its infancy, so that we can have a sustainable league in the long-term.

Soweto PanthersThese leaders have not been outshone by their upcoming superstars but have been sharing their playing experiences on the benches and even putting on some outstanding performances of their own. A few months ago we didn’t have a clue where the game in South Africa was heading, and the first few games of the BNL were a bit of an eye-sore. But as teams got to know each other better on the court, we started seeing some strong performances and entertaining displays. Some teams are still adjusting to the new league and might find their feet a bit too late in the season, but there is a sense of life in the game that we all love. Soweto Panthers remain the only unbeaten team in the league and seem to be well on their way to the playoffs of the inaugural league.

With the Basketball SA elections that have just passed confirming the new leadership of the game in our nation, let’s hope that they keep racing forward and pass the baton to the next generation of basketball administrators so that we can start building the game at grassroots level, and plan our participation at the Olympic games.

We might stumble along the way and straddle the lanes, but as long as we don’t drop the baton we have given the future an amazing boost.

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