03 October, 2023
26 November
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Selepe embracing new role of veteran player at the Cape Town Tigers


JOHANNESBURG (South Africa) - Lebesa Selepe is 32- years old and is going into his third as a professional basketball player for South African champions Cape Town Tigers. It's a change of events he never imagined would happen as he had a 9-5 job in the corporate sector. 

While becoming a professional player never dawned on him, he has rolled with the change. The veteran combo guard told FIBA.Basketball, he is also aware of certain realities as well.

Lebesa Selepe

"I never saw it coming because I was so deep in the corporate world. I am taking things one step at a time because a lot is going through my mind. How long can I do it for? How long before another young South African point guard comes in and takes my spot and I'd be forced into retirement," said the former Jozi Nuggets player.

"The only thing I can control is ensuring I stay ready and work hard. What has also worked to my advantage is working with great coaches. My most recent coach was Rasheed Hazzard. The information he brought and his attention to detail is top-tier. It's the stuff used in premier leagues in Europe and the NBA.

"My mind has opened up, and when I watch the NBA, I understand what happens at both ends of the court from a tactical perspective."

Lebesa Selepe (7) is seen  singing the national anthem moments before the 2017 AfroBasket match between South African and in Dakar

Selepe, who played for South Africa at the 2017 FIBA AfroBasket, says the knowledge helped adapt his game.

"For myself, I also approach to the game is from a mental aspect and not physical. The best years of my basketball are behind me when I could pull up from two metres from behind line or trying to score twenty points every game. Those days are gone. But if rare opportunity to have that kind of game comes, I will embrace it," said the former Soweto Panthers player.

"What I do bring now is the veteran experience, and there is value in that. This moment was always coming, but I did not think it would be this soon. Years ago, I was a rookie looking up to and learning from guys like Neo Mothiba, Tsakani Ngobeni and Vincent Ntunja.

"Now I am the veteran. I embrace the role of being the guy helping other players to find their feet in the team and game."

Selepe and the Tigers hope to have found their footing ahead of the Road To BAL Elite 16 Division East at Ellis Park Arena this week (21 November - 26 November).

Cape Town Tigers are chasing a third straight BAL appearance

The Tigers are in Group A alongside the NBA Academy, Pazi (Tanzania), and Dynamo Basketball Club (Burundi).

Days before Cape Town's scrimmage 70-64 loss to the NBA Academy Africa Selepe said they will be ready for the tournament come tip-off time.


"I think we are getting better with every practice. That is encouraging. There is an understanding of what needs to be done, and the new guys have adjusted to our new system. I am confident that when the referee tosses the ball for our first game we will be ready," said Selepe. "We have to execute and give it everything we have. The one thing about the talent bunch that we have is that the coach has the luxury of going deep into the bench. I know guys are going to be locked in and ready to hold themselves accountable."