Mike Mukumbuta, who is one of the few Namibians that are plying their trade in the South African National Basketball League told The Villager that there is need for a collective, all-encompassing approach to the management of basketball in Namibia, if the fortunes of the game are to be overturned.
“We need to put our house in order if we really want to become professional one day. The Namibia Basketball Federation (NBF) can start by building more basketball facilities. There’s also a need for countrywide coaching clinics,” Said Mukumbuta.
Also imperative for the welfare of the game, according to the player, is the training of more referees. “We also need to invite basketball experts from all over the world to come and share their expertise,” said the 25 year-old.
The Accounting student at the University of Transvaal did not mince his words in pointing out that there is a need for a complete overhaul of the administration and promotion of the game in Namibia
Basketball in South Africa, according to Mukumbuta, is more competitive and the fact that league matches are broadcasted on TV is a bonus for exposure.
Having carved a niche for himself as a key player at Soweto Panthers in the South African Basketball National League, Mukumbuta also told The Villager Sports that he is enjoying every moment of his stay in South Africa since moving there in 2011, despite his club being in a disappointing 10th position on the log – out of the 12 clubs.
Before heading down South, Mukumbuta played for Plaza Warriors in the Khomas Basketball League where he captured the hearts of the club’s supporters with his dazzling moves.
“Before I joined Soweto Panthers this year I played for Mbombela Wildcats who were finalist in the pilot division last season. I feel like I am doing well in this country. I have already won several major trophies with the club and I also scooped numerous individual trophies including the Most Valuable Player (MVPs) and All Stars awards,” said Mukumbuta further adding that his mission is to help his side finish off the campaign on a high note.
“We still have four games to go before the conclusion of the league. We started off poorly but we managed to put our acts together during the last few games,” he said.
He maintained that his dream is to win the BNL his current club; that coupled with his burning desire to one day flaunt his skills in the NBA. “But right now I see myself playing in the European league before going to the NBA,” he said.