11/06/2024
Africa
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Adekambi outlines Togo's basketball development plan with UConn star Samson Johnson on board

LOME (Togo) - Togolese Basketball Federation is set to embark on a nationwide capacity building programme as part of an elaborate plan to lift the standards of basketball in the country. 

Having assumed office in January 2022, Gina Adekambi is seen as a beacon of hope in changing the Togo basketball landscape and trajectory. 

She held a meeting with stakeholders in May 2024 where an intricate linear approach with short, mid and long term targets was agreed upon. 

The country's overall sports were extensively affected by the Covid-19 outbreak and with the country's government keen to restore action, last month's meeting made sure that basketball would be part of that government plan. 

"The FNB-Togo is currently in a phase of resuming activities and promoting basketball throughout the national territory.  The sport has been laden with a lack of motivation and interest from most Togolese basketball players, way before Covid-19," Adekambi told FIBA.basketball. 

She continued, "The changes sought are set to push the subscription to a new common vision, establishing an inclusive framework conducive to the development of clubs and the professionalisation of basketball and to have all stakeholders work according to values such as solidarity, ethics, transparency, a culture of progress and resilience." 

Adekambi says the training of all stakeholders who run the basketball ecosystem, including managers, coaches, match officials, sports journalists is the federation's first order of business as it is a foundation for growth. 

"We will do this while beginning the development of the sport from the grassroots. This will eventually lead to the formation and modernisation of local clubs which would marry well into the federation's plan to develop infrastructure while providing necessary equipment for the sport's expansion in the short term," she continued. 

To modernize the sport, Togolese stakeholders have called for the adoption of a pyramid structure for better club development. 

Additionally, matters club licenses are set to be digitized as well as talks of a revised constitution to one that goes hand in hand with the agreed changes. 

With Adekambi's elaborate plan set to kick off immediately, the federation, in the hope that the short term goals will be achieved, has indicated that a national league would be introduced next year. 

"The plan is to have the league resume in phases, with an Elite A League at national level and a B League at regional level in the next two years. The second phase would introduce a national semi-professional league and a national amateur league. 

"This will eventually lead to us competing on the international scene at the club and national level while also putting ourselves out there as hosts for such international events, with the right infrastructure," Adekambi offered. 

 

The federation boss says the changes are banking on the new-found enthusiasm created around Togolese youth by the will of the Togolese political authorities to professionalize sport as a whole.

"The development of various basketball training centers, the emergence of the Togo Swallows Academy on the international scene, providing opportunities for some young Togolese to play high-level basketball such as Samson Johnson, a two-time NCAA champion with the University of Connecticut in the USA, are some of the foundations we are banking on to make this work. 

This new dynamic in Togolese basketball also reflects the determination of our players to assert themselves through their favorite sport and to improve the position of Togolese basketball on the African stage," she concluded. 

FIBA