A new era of female basketball competition has rocked the Midlands Basketball Association MBA fuelled by signings from Zimbabwe. The Zim-Zim ladies have made the competition intense but only for a few clubs that have absorbed them.
MBA President Maziko Phiri said basketball in Zimbabwe was very competitive but had lesser money than the sport has in Zambia.
Speaking to Goal Diggers! in an interview, Phiri also said Zambian basketball clubs had unquenched thirsty to win the league title hence their capability to pay foreign players.
“They all have set their eyes on the league title and the championship so competition has been doubled. Almost every club can use extra manpower to reach its goals even if it means signing new players,” said Phiri.
The President added the new signings from Zimbabwe had the talent that most coaches did not have and that they would not hesitate to add new energy to their respectful teams if they could afford it.
Meanwhile, Napsa coach for the female team Noah Mabutwe said as much as the foreign players were playing well, the competition was felt by three clubs only that had experienced players. “I cannot pretend that other smaller clubs are competing favourably because they are easily outplayed,” noted Mabutwe.
He mentioned Matero Magic, Napsa Breeze, Green Buffaloes and UNZA Honeys as the only clubs that were playing interesting and competitive games in the female league. Further, midlands basketball referee Trustone Botha noted Zimbabwe had a stronger youth foundation for girls’ basketball as compared to Zambia hence the exceptional skills by Zimbabwean players.
He said it was only in Zambia where players were allowed to join super league teams without a trace in competitive youth basketball. Botha who had officiated at international basketball competitions in Zimbabwe and Swaziland noted the need to have grassroot basketball be accorded better attention.
Zimbabwean nationals playing elite basketball for Zambian clubs are mostly contained in Unza Honeys, Matero Magic and Napsa Breeze clubs respectively.