FEDERATION of International Basketball Association (Fiba) yesterday pledged its support for the new basketball leadership in this country.
Bob Elphinston, Fiba's president, said they were going to assist Basketball South Africa (BSA) in all its projects to revive and develop the game in this country.
Elphinston and Fiba development manager Zoran Radovic made the commitment after meeting BSA bosses led by Malesela Maleka, the president.
Elphinston has been in the country since last Thursday for the yearly Basketball Without Borders development programme, run by the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The successful development programme, which attracted 60 talented boys from various countries across Africa, ended in Diepsloot on Sunday.
"We met the new leadership of basketball in this country to understand their progress in terms of the projectsset up since they were elected," Elphinston said. "The aim of the meeting was to see how can we guide and help them because we believe South Africa has the potential to be one of the continental giants in the sport."
Elphinston said there was an urgent need for the establishment of proper leagues for South Africa to become a force to be reckoned with in basketball on the continent.
Elphinston also acknowledged the lack of funding for basketball in the country. After meeting members of the South African Sport Confederation and Olympic Committee to find out how they were assisting basketball, he pledged to support an application for funds from the International Olympic Committee Solitary Fund.
BSA chief Maleka said: "We appreciate the support from Fiba.
"Our aim is to see basketball once more becoming one of the most popular sports in SA."