Patriots, Espoir face-off in Play-offs Final

U-16 girls team in camp for Afrobasket tournament

The 2015 National Basketball Play-Offs final will be played between reigning champions Espoir and Patriots basketball clubs.

Patriots reached the final after cruising past APR 71-62 in the third game of the semi-final playoffs to reach the finals of the men’s basketball league at Cercle Sportif de Kigali.

Reigning champions Espoir have reached the basketball playoffs finals for the fourth successive season after edging out bitter rivals Cercle Sportif de Kigali 2-0 in the best-of-three semi-finals.

A week ago, Espoir beat CSK in two matches, registering 92-70 and 60-55 in two matches to record an unassailable 2-0 win.

In the women’s first leg semi-final playoffs, Ubumwe and APR will meet in the final after wins over The Hoops and University of Rwanda (UR) respectively.

The second playoff game will be played today and the winning team will qualify for the finals of the women’s basketball league.

July 28, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

Rwanda U16 women thrashed by Mozambique

Rwanda U16 National Basketball team

Rwanda U16 National Basketball team

 Rwanda U16 national women team suffered a disappointing start to the FIBA Africa U16 Championship for Women 2015 as they lost 96-22 on Sunday at the Palais des Sports Mahamasina in Madagascar’s Capital City of Antananarivo.

Rwanda is pooled in Group B alongside Mali, Angola, Tunisia and Mozambique.

Group A is comprised of hosts Madagascar, Morocco, Egypt, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

Rwanda faces Tunisia in their second group game on Monday at 2pm.

The first phase of the tournament will be played in a round robin format, with every team taking on its opponents in its respective group.

The top four teams from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals where Group A crosses Group B (A1-B4; A2-B3; A3-B2; A4-B1)

The second phase of the tournament will be played in a knockout format from the Quarter-finals to the Finals.

Among the participating teams, six teams are making their debuts in the competition namely the host country Madagascar, South Africa, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

While Mali, Egypt and Angola will be their fourth consecutive appearance.

Mali, triple defending champion will put his crown at stake with the objective to write again history by preserving.

The team three times silver medalist, Egypt will attempt to win his first title.

Mozambique and Tunisia respectively 3rd and 4th in the last edition in Maputo, Mozambique have qualified automatically.

Madagascar, the host country, complete the list of nations qualified automatically for the tournament with the winner and runner-up will play the U17 women’s world championship of FIBA.

Zimbabwe has validated his ticket at the end of qualifying for the Zone VI disputed the 25 to 30 May 2015 in Gaborone, Botswana.

Five countries had taken part in these playoffs that Zimbabwe won with a record of 4 wins in as many games.

Morocco and Rwanda respectively represent the I and VI.

To complete the list of participants, three countries have benefited from Wild Card. These include Nigeria (Zone III) of Angola and South Africa (Zone VI).

This tournament will climax on Sunday will serve as qualifier for the 2016 FIBA Women World Championship.

The winner and the runners-up will represent Africa to next year youth competition.

Mali is the tree time champion of the FIBA Africa U16 Championship for Women which will be at its 4th edition.

July 14, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

LeBron pleased but says Cavs have work to do

LeBron James

LeBron James

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James says he wants to see the team stockpile more talent in the off-season to prepare for another run at an NBA title next season.

James spoke on Friday night at a screening of the new romantic comedy in which he plays himself, “Trainwreck” that was conducted in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

James, who signed his own new two-year contract worth $46 million with the Cavaliers on Friday, has seen the Cavs sign deals with forward Kevin Love, guard ImanShumpert and guard Mo Williams.

“It has been good so far, but we have a lot of work to do,” James said. “We definitely don’t want to come back the same team. We want to come back better. But right now, we’ve been doing so far, so good.”

The Cavaliers, who lost to Golden State in last month’s NBA Finals, are still looking to re-sign top rebounder Tristan Thompson and guards Matthew Dellavedova and J.R. Smith.

“We still got to re-sign Tristan,” James said. “Hopefully we can bring back J.R. as well and see if there are some other free agents out there that would love to come here and play if we’re able to do that.”

The Cavs are looking to add talent thanks to the non-guaranteed $10.5 million contract of Brendan Haywood, which many teams seek so they can potentially drop him and save that amount off their salary cap.

Cleveland had been talking with Brooklyn about Joe Johnson but with the Nets waiving Deron Williams, who appears set to sign a deal with Dallas, they are not as interested in letting Johnson leave.

The Cavaliers were reportedly talking with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers in hopes of obtaining a reserve player who might help contribute next season.

James is a co-star in the film with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. The movie opens across the United States next Friday. But don’t look for James to be giving up the NBA for Hollywood any time soon.

“I ain’tno movie star,” James said. “I know my day job.”


July 14, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players 0 Comment

LeBron agrees two-year deal with Cavs

LeBron James 

LeBron James

LeBron James has ended speculation about his future after agreeing a two-year deal which will see him remain with the Cleveland Cavaliers next season, multiple reports said on Thursday.

The NBA superstar has reportedly agreed a contract worth nearly $50 million after opting out of a two-year deal on June 29 to reach free agency.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on its website that the deal comprised a $23 million contract for next season followed by a $24.7 million option for the 2016-2017 season.

James’s opt out decision was widely interpreted as a gambit designed to ensure the Cavaliers sign more top talent for next season after losing this year’s NBA finals.

Earlier this week point guard Mo Williams said he had agreed a deal with the Cavs which would see him reunite with James.

Williams played with James for two seasons between 2008-2010.

The Cavaliers have also handed lucrative contracts to forward Kevin Love and point guard Kyrie Irving, further enticing James to stay.

Cleveland is also close to agreeing a new deal with restricted free agent Tristan Thompson, who shares an agent with James, according to reports.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer said Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert had splurged around $330 million on contracts to surround James with a team capable of challenging for the title.

James averaged around 25.3 points and six rebounds per game during the regular season in 2014-15, but sharply increased his numbers during the Cavs playoff challenge.

He averaged 30.1 points per game in the playoffs, which ultimately ended with a 4-2 loss in the Finals to Golden State Warriors.

July 11, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:,
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Lakers nab top reserve Williams in free agent chase

Guard Lou Williams

Guard Lou Williams, who won Sixth Man of the Year honours as the NBA’s top reserve, is reportedly headed to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Multiple media outlets reported that Williams, a prime target in the free agent market after playing for the Toronto Raptors last season, has agreed to a three-year, $21 million deal with the Lakers.

No contract can be finalized until the free agent signing period begins on Thursday.

Williams averaged a career-best 15.5 points in 80 games for Toronto last season.

In March, he set a Raptors’ record for points in a quarter with 21 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the fourth quarter.

With coveted forward LaMarcus Aldridge apparently set for a move from Portland to the San Antonio Spurs and centreDeAndre Jordan headed to Dallas, the biggest names on this season’s free agent market are accounted for.

But not all situations are settled.

Cavs superstar LeBron James and Memphis big man Marc Gasol are both free agents – although both seem sure to remain with their current teams.

ESPN reported that James and the Cavaliers are not yet discussing a new contract for the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, with James preferring to wait until the club re-signs restricted free agent Tristan Thompson.

Gasol, also a free agent, hasn’t negotiated with teams other than the Grizzlies, but has yet to confirm he’s reached agreement on a new deal with the club.

July 7, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament 0 Comment

U-16 girls team in camp for Afrobasket tournament

U-16 girls team in camp for Afrobasket tournament

The Rwanda national U-16 girls’ team has started camp in preparation for the forthcoming FIBA Africa Basketball Championship.

This year’s U-16 Women’s Africa Basketball Championship is scheduled for July 12-24 in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Debutants Rwanda will leave the country for the two-week tournament on July 8.

According to head coach Charles Mushumba, the team started camp on Wednesday and will be residing at Hotel La Palisse Nyandungu as they train at Amahoro Indoor stadium daily.

Mushumba, who also doubles as the head coach of the UR- College of Arts and Social Sciences (UR- CASS) women’s team, singled out hosts Madagascar, Mali and Ivory Coast as top contenders.

Meanwhile, the boys’ team will enter boot camp on Monday ahead of the U-16 Men’s Afrobasket championships slated for July 30- August 8 in Mali.


July 4, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:,
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Dwyane Wade apparently staying put in Miami

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat slows down the offence during a game against the Cleverland Cavariers at American Airlines Arena on March 16, 2015 in Miami, Florida 

Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat slows down the offence during a game against the Cleverland Cavariers at American Airlines Arena on March 16, 2015 in Miami, Florida

Star guard Dwyane Wade reassured the Miami Heat faithful on Thursday that he’s sticking with the only NBA team he’s ever represented.

“Let’s Get it! Heat Nation,” the 33-year-old Tweeted, posting a short video captioned “My city My Home My House.”

Wade has played his entire NBA career in Miami, winning three league titles.

But after he opted out of the second year of his two-year contract to become a free agent Heat fans feared he’d be tempted to try a new challenge, and team up with his great friend and former Heat colleague LeBron James in Cleveland.

Speculation that such a move was in the offing were fuelled on Wednesday by social media reports that the two players had been seen vacationing together in the Bahamas.

However, multiple US media outlets reported Thursday that Wade had agreed to a one-year deal worth $20 million to stay in Miami.

No free agent contracts can be signed until July 9, but a welter of deals was reportedly in the works on the second day of the free agency negotiating period on Thursday.

The Portland Trail Blazers have reportedly agreed on a five-year extension worth more than $120 million with star point guard Damian Lillard.

Lillard, the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, has continued to mature, earning All-Star nods in each of the past two seasons.

His extension comes as the Trail Blazers prepare for the likely departure of free agent LaMarcus Aldridge. Power forward Aldridge is among the most coveted free agents on the market this year, and is reportedly being courted by the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Heat.

July 4, 2015 By : Category : English featured Players Tags:,
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NBA’s first game in Africa attracts world-class partners

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) today named Econet Global Limited, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, NIKE Inc., South African Airways (SAA), SuperSport, and 947 as partners for NBA Africa Game 2015.

The first NBA game in Africa will take place August 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The game will feature a Team Africa v Team World format and will be played in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa, SOS Children’s Villages Association of South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The game will air live in Africa on SuperSport.

Roster of Official NBA Africa Game 2015 Partners:

- Econet Global Limited – Official Mobile and Telecommunications Partner of NBA Africa Game 2015; co-branded NBA Africa Game marketing campaign across Africa

- Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa – Official Automotive Partner of NBA Africa Game 2015; presenting Partner of NBA Africa Game 2015 Fan Zone (more details on the Fan Zone will be announced soon); will host an NBA Cares clinic

- NIKE Inc. – Official Marketing Partner of NBA Africa Game 2015; partner of Basketball without Borders Africa 2015; NBA Cares partner for a new court at the Boys & Girls Club in Protea Glen, Johannesburg

- South African Airways – Official Airline Partner of NBA Africa Game 2015 transporting Team Africa and Team World players to South Africa; partner of Basketball without Borders Africa 2015

- SuperSport – Official NBA Broadcast Partner since 2013; SuperSport will broadcast the game live starting at 3:00 p.m. local time across Sub-Saharan Africa

- 947 – Official Radio Partner of NBA Africa Game 2015

“This is an historic moment for the NBA and the sport of basketball in Africa, and we are excited to work with such a broad range of partners to make this game possible, said Amadou Gallo Fall, NBA Vice President and Managing Director-Africa. “The game will impact young people throughout the continent, both on the court and in the community, as we bring some of the world’s most recognizable athletes to Johannesburg to celebrate our long tradition in Africa.”

Team Africa, comprised of players from Africa and second-generation African players, will feature team captain and two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng (Miami Heat; born in South Sudan), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder; Congo) and Gorgui Dieng (Minnesota Timberwolves; Senegal).

Team World, comprised of players from the rest of the world, will feature team captain and eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers; US), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards; US) and Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets; US).

Full Team Africa and Team World rosters will be announced soon.

The NBA has a long history in Africa with more than 35 players from the continent featured on NBA rosters since Hakeem Olajuwon was drafted in 1984. Through NBA Cares, 58 places to live, learn or play have been created in Africa, and Basketball without Borders Africa has been held 12 times on the continent.

The league opened an African headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2010 and recently launched Jr. NBA leagues in Mozambique and Uganda as part of comprehensive grassroots programs across the continent.

For more information, fans can visit nba.com/africa; Facebook.com/Africa and Twitter @NBA_Africa. Fans can also download NBA Game Time, the official app of the NBA for news and updates, scores, stats, schedules, videos and more. NBA games, highlights and special programming are available on SuperSport.


July 2, 2015 By : Category : Afrobasket English featured 0 Comment

African trio on the free-agent frenzy

African trio on the free-agent frenzy

Luol Deng

The NBA free-agency period is due on Wednesday, and a number of high-profile players are set to decide their future destinations.

Among the six Africa-born NBA players who featured in the 2014-15 season, three may switch teams during this offseason.

NOTE – Restricted free agency means the team that owns the player’s rights may match offers. Player and team options must be decided on soon, typically by June 30.

While South Sudan native Luol Deng, an unrestricted free-agent, has opted into his $10.2 million 2015-16 salary with the Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets centreBismackBiyombo as well as Philadelphia 76ers forward Luc Mbah a Moute are yet to decide their NBA future.

Unlike Deng, Biyombo, a restricted free-agent who was selected seventh overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Hornets, may be on the move, judging by his recent comments.

In the wake of last week’s NBA draft, Biyombo welcomed his fellow Congolese Emmanuel Mudiay who was selected seventh overall by the Denver Nuggets.

Then, on Monday, the Lubumbashi native took to his twitter account to appreciate the fans in Charlotte.

“I’m excited and look forward to my new home,” he twetted suggesting he is on his way out Hornets.

He went on to “appreciate the people in the whole organisation. You guys Have been great to me and I wish you nothing but the best. God bless,” he concluded.

During his four-year time with the Hornets, Bismack averaged 4.4 points and 6.1 rebounds in 21 minutes per game.

On the other hand, Cameroonian Luc Mbah a Moute, an unrestricted free-agent, continues to be linked to a number of teams including the New Orleans Pelicans, or even extend his stay in Philadelphia.

Back in April, the seven-year veteran said to Philadelphia local press: “I always thought they viewed me as part of what they were doing here.

“We will see what happens this summer. But pretty much what’s been kind of [established] is that I’m part of what they are trying to grow here. I’m part of the culture.”

Mbah a Moute has spent the first five seasons of his NBA career with the Milwaukee Buck. He had a short spell with the Sacramento Kings, and before he joined the Sixers, the Cameroonian played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

List of top 10 free-agents:

1. LaMarcus Aldridge (Unrestricted), Power Forward, Portland Trail Blazers

2. Marc Gasol (Unrestricted), Centre, Memphis Grizzlies

3. Kawhi Leonard (Restricted), Small Forward, San Antonio Spurs

4. Kevin Love (Unrestricted), Power Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers

5. Jimmy Butler (Restricted), Shooting Guard, Chicago Bull

6. DeAndre Jordan (Unrestricted), Centre, Los Angeles Clippers

7. Draymond Green (Restricted), Power Forward, Golden State Warriors

8. GoranDragic (Unrestricted), Point Guard, Miami Heat

9. Paul Millsap (Unrestricted), Power Forward, Atlanta Hawks

10. Brandon Knight (Restricted Free Agent), Point Guard, Phoenix Suns

Note – Four-time MVP LeBron James has reportedly opted out with the Cleveland Cavaliers but is expected to re-sign with the team.

July 1, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:
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NBA more international than ever

NBA more international than ever

Festus Ezeli

NBA players born outside the USA continue to strive in the league as we have never seen before.

Official figures from the National Basketball Association (NBA) showed that a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories were on opening night rosters for the 2014-15 seasons.

That figure marked the first time the NBA had more than 100 international players.

Three decades on, since the beginning of an influx of Europeans, Africans, Asian and South Americans, the NBA has become an international showpiece, giving plenty of reasons to call the national champions the world champions.

Looking at the 2015 Finals in which the Golden State Warriors won their second title since 1975, six international players – Andrew Bogut and Mathew Dellavedova

June 30, 2015 By : Category : English featured Tournament Tags:
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