After a seven-year absence, the Gambia will soon get a full-fledged national basketball team, Basketball president Gheran Senghore told The Standard yesterday.
The Gambia Basketball Association has been hit by a protracted wrangling ever since former president Papa Njai left to join politics a few years ago. Aggrieved stakeholders went ahead to push for the election of a new body led by Senghore but the new committee did not enjoy the cooperation of the old executive members who alleged government interference in their ousting.
However last month, the Gambia National Olympic Committee facilitated a new election process, which again led to the election of Gheran Senghore but with a few changes to his initial executive. “We have now resolved the impasse between us and have since got to work to complete the league championship which has been won by Serekunda West in both male and female categories,” Senghore said. He said the next priority is to build a national basketball team which has not been in existence since 7 years ago. “The Gambia has not taken part in any official international basketball competition in the last seven years except the 3 on 3 competitions. We want to end that sorry state of our game because there is a lot of talent in this country. In fact, some players have already secured places in clubs in Senegal,” Senghore said.
He added that the GBA must as soon as possible be on a sound financial footing to be able to build a good national team through quality technical process. “We must be able to have programmes and structures for the national team and facilities to attract and retain players for the team,” he said.
According to Mr Senghore, the focus is to develop basketball to regain its past glory.