Thanks to the partnership with Ballers Paradise, an American charity working in the detection of talents, 15 young Burundian basketball players will leave from June 2 to 8 for the United States for a training camp. Lovers of the orange ball deplore that the president of Febabu has given pride of place to businessmen.
“Why so many businessmen for a training camp? », « Is it really a question of promoting young Burundian basketball players or the promotion of a handful of businessmen devoted to his cause? Since the official announcement of the list of staff members who will be on the trip, in the world of the orange ball, questions and indignation have been coming from everywhere . “Another proof that the current president of the Basketball Federation of Burundi (Febabu) is only driven by mercantile aims rather than the development of basketball” , argue some Internet users.
Very critical, some club supporters interviewed do not understand why there is no member of the commission in charge of youth development within Febabu. “Since it is a question of acquiring new knowledge and sharing experience, the least we could do was to give a chance to a technician who is part of this commission which conducted the selections” . Indeed, of the eight staff members who will be on the trip, no technician.
For Franck, former player and staff of a club in the Association of Clubs, this reflects the propensity of the president of Febabu to listen only to his voice. Some members of the executive bureau of Febabu confirm that they were not consulted to give their agreement as to the members of the delegation who will be on the trip. Fernand, a former player, to ask himself: “What will happen when the association that invited him discovers that their partner is no longer a showcase for young players, but rather for businessmen? » For him, the authorized authorities must be aware that such practices risk damaging the image of Burundi.
Contacted, Aimé Bitagoye, coach of the Remesha club and member of the commission in charge of youth development, said he was surprised by the fact that there was no member of their commission. But, in no way, “this does not disarm our desire to contribute to the rebirth of Burundian basketball by training young talents”.
11 million BIF to be part of the trip
Although to be taken care of by Ballers Paradise, once in the USA, each young person selected must pay a sum of 11 million BIF to be on the trip. An amount deemed astronomical by some voices who deplore certain delaying maneuvers by Febabu to extract money from parents.
“False!” retorts Lionel Banyiyezako, his spokesperson. He specifies that this sum was fixed after consultation with the parents’ committee. According to him, unlike the gossip that constantly demonize the president of Febabu, everything is written black on white, the headings in which these 11 million will be used. In addition to the plane ticket, this money will cover travel insurance, camp registration fees, etc. However, one of the parents interviewed confides that the amount is enormous for a trip where accommodation and subsistence are taken care of. “As we had been told that whoever is unable to pay this amount, although selected, will be excluded from the list, we had no choice but to accept, especially since it is the future of the children that is at stake”.
Businessmen instead of coaches
As for the allegations of some accusing Jean-Paul Manirakiza, president of Febabu, of having a bias for certain businessmen, Mr. Banyiyezako denounces a false campaign: “Whether they like it or not, the renaissance is underway and the results are already palpable. People may wonder why no technician was selected to be part of the trip. But these are not matches that our young players will deliver. It’s a training camp with seasoned tacticians. The objective is to see if our players have the necessary prerequisites to evolve in their championships”, before continuing: “As for the choice of staff members who will be on the trip, only one deal won. The people on the list are managers in certain clubs before being businessmen. From near or far in their activities, they considerably support Febabu”.
The spokesperson indicates that the objective is to allow them to make new contacts, to draw inspiration from the experience of American investors to raise the level of Burundian basketball, as they are doing today. “The partnership with Ballers Paradise will last 5 years. During this period, in addition to other partnerships in sight, we hope to send as many technicians as possible abroad to strengthen their capacities ,” he concluded. We contacted Ballers Paradise officials, to no avail.
Supposed to leave on May 31, at the time of going to press, the United States Embassy in Burundi has not yet granted a visa to the said delegation.
Ballers Paradise, who are they?
Ballers Paradise, a Christian initiative, is produced and presented by Ballers Paradise LLC, an elite network of the most accredited basketball organizations in the capital area of Albany, New York, and beyond.
Among its objectives: to promote the detection of talented young basketball players all over the world, especially in Africa. It is in this context that the association has established a partnership with Febabu, which will last 5 years. Each year, it is expected that 15 young Burundian basketball players whose age is between 10-18 years old, leave to train in the United States of America. If so, if any of them catch the eye of recruiters, Ballers Paradise can connect them to top basketball organizations, schools, and institutions that can help them advance in their career and dreams. professional basketball player.
Source: IWACU Burundi