I’m not one to make new year’s resolutions, to be honest - because really, so much can happen, or not happen, in a year’s time. I prefer to make new day’s goals so I can have more of a sense of achievement, having known that I accomplished something at the end of the day. But looking ahead at the potential of 2016’s basketball year, I can’t help but get excited.
The NBA All Star weekend is a highlight for February, taking place Feb 12-14 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto. For sure it’s going to be one to remember, especially with Kobe making a final appearance before retirement. He is currently the top vote getter in this year’s All Star weekend! Still with the NBA, 2016 is going to be an interesting year for the Golden State Warriors. With only two losses since the start of the season, taking them to 38-4, they’ve just had the best start in league history. So it’ll be interesting to see if they can ride their way to back-to-back championships - or if they fall in the playoffs. At this rate, it’s hard to imagine anyone stopping them.
Probably the biggest basketball event fans can look forward to this year is the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, from 6 to 21st August. I mean, I’m looking forward to seeing quality world basketball, but I also think it would be GREAT for a team to knock the US off their pedestal. And to see how our African qualifiers perform, especially Nigeria for the men and Senegal for the women.
I’m also curious to see how basketball development plays out across the continent in 2016. With so many programs - and the kids they support - finally getting the platforms they need to develop into great players, there is a lot to look forward to this year … and over the next 3 years (I’ll be providing regular updates!).
One huge supporter of the game and someone who has really inspired me since we first met in 2010, is entrepreneur and Be Own Sports CEO, Aly Samabaly. His idea for the brand Be Own Sports as as premium African sportswear company and his desire to take African sports to the next level has been an inspiration since day one. Witnessing the groundbreaking ceremony for the Be Own Sports foundation Star Facility at Nairobi Railways Club was a revelation. Railways has been a basketball hub for Nairobi ballers forever but the courts have degraded completely. Be Own plans to completely renovate it by April and I can’t wait to see the end result!
As the BAQE brand continues to expand I find myself being invited to more events than I can physically attend and that is extremely exciting. The BAQE nation is growing! I’m trying to imagine what it will be like when the show is accessible on local tv stations so no one will have an excuse not to watch it. The African basketball world will be that much smaller and hey, it’s a small world after all, right? 2016 is our year, Africa. So maybe I do have a new year’s resolution after all-Let’s take the world by storm!