JOHANNESBURG - Basketball South Africa has received the country's National Federation of the Year award for 2015.
The honour was bestowed upon South Africa's basketball governing body after two of its teams appeared in two continental championships - U16 AfroBasket 2015 and AfroBasket Women 2015 - while a number of domestic activities were undertaken in order to revive the sport.
The recognition was announced during the 2015 Annual Sports Awards held last month in Mangaung, Bloemfontein.
And that was exactly the period that South Africa teams took to the court to take on their fellow Africans in FIBA Africa competitions.
In Mali, South Africa U16 team claimed an eighth-place finish following a 2-5 mark in the 11-team competition, while the Women’s team made their first continental appearance - since 2009 - at AfroBasket Women 2015.
During Basketball South Africa's annual general meeting held last week, the governing body's president, Graham Abrahams, applauded the perseverance of his team and acknowledged that there is still a lot of work to be done.
"This award is in recognition of your selfless service, your sacrifices, your many years of holding out with the hope that the sport will prosper and grow," he said.
"That was a special moment for the sport," Abrahams said of the award.
To the many thousands of players, coaches, administrators, officials, referees, fans who have continued having hope in this sport, your dream can be realised. You can rebuild basketball one day at a time. - Abrahams
"Of course, we have our shortcomings and we will never hide from this.
"Much work still needs to be done in our provinces with regard to governance and administration, funding, sustainable leagues, facilities and equipment, schools basketball, women’s leagues, training of coaches, officials and referees, membership registration, meeting the requirements of the EPG transformation process; working with provincial confederations; infrastructure in rural five areas; growing our player base; developing a data base; putting in place the FIBA tracking system; introducing 3 on 3 competitions," Abrahams explained.
The award is part of the Sport & Recreation South Africa’s commitment to promote social cohesion, nation building and the quality of life among all South Africans through sport and recreation.
In the occasion, NBA Vice President and Managing Director for Africa Amadou Gallo Fall was one of the recipients of the Excellence Awards.