Lesotho top female basketball players who ply their trade at the Bokamoso North Ladies are on the verge of being signed by the South African Free State Warriors Ladies Basketball Club for the upcoming 2021 South African Basketball National League season.
The five players are Neo Nkokoto, Relebohile Lebatla-Ntšekhe, Mookho Ntebe, Nthabiseng Motaung and Nkhethua Makhorole.
Bokamoso North Ladies coach Matheola Ntšekhe told Newsday that the negotiations are already at an advanced stage and very promising.
“What happened is that Warriors approached the players individually first then we only started engaging with them at a later stage. They initially identified the players during the Bloemfontein tournament that Bokamoso were participating in,” Ntšekhe said.
He said aside from the players registered under Bokamoso there is also a sixth player in Tornado98ers who used to play for Bokamoso.
“Besides the five under my team, the Warriors have also shown interest in the services of Mamahapa Masilo who used to play for us” he said.
He said Warriors is yet to officially write to them asking for the release of the players since they are still registered under Bokamoso.
“We have heard from Warriors but everything is yet to be formalised through an official letter asking for the players as that is the procedure according to the International Basketball Federation (IBF) and once that has happened we will release a formal statement on the matter”
He said the players are already in tune with the Warriors team as they have been inviting them over for some of the unofficial tournaments in South Africa.
Ntšekhe said although this is a very big move for the players it will be a loss to Bokamoso but maintains this is the program that the team is driving at, to be able to export players internationally for the betterment as well as growth of the sport.
“As Bokamoso, we are not just a team but a development program. We want to see our players grow and get international experience hence even though we are losing good players we are sure to continue producing more and it is good for the growth of the sport,” he said.
He added that should the players return and still want to play for Bokamoso they will be welcomed warmly.
According to Ntšekhe, the move proves just how much ladies’ basketball is growing in the country.
“Now we see women players joining teams abroad. This is only the beginning of great things to come,” he stated.
Meanwhile, a former Bokamoso male shooting guard Bokang Pherela recently signed with the Free State Golden Warriors (FSGW) which currently plays in the South African Basketball National League.
In his debut for the FSGW this past Saturday, Pharela was named the Most Valued Player (MVP) and managed to score 20 points, and three rebounds and assists against Limpopo Pride.