President Salva Kiir has promised to provide support to the national basketball team after they qualified for the 2023 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) World Cup.
“Our President says he will do all he can in his government in order to support sport, support basketball and all the sport of the young people so that your potential can come out,” Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister of presidential affairs told journalists in Juba on Tuesday.
He was speaking on the sidelines upon the arrival of the victorious bright stars basketball players at Juba International airport.
“We have proven that we have other things that we can do well, we are telling the champion of America, the champion of Europe, and the champion of Asia that South Sudan is coming, we are proud of our country,” Benjamin said.
FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 to be hosted in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines will commence on August 25th.
The Bright Stars returned home victorious after beating Senegal, Egypt and Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) in qualifiers for the global tournament.
Kuany Kuany, the Captain of bright stars basketball team, said the success of the basketball team has potential to build a foundation for the next generation.
“South Sudan is now known across the globe for basketball which is a unifying factor, it is amazing to see a whole country coming together cheering and building a foundation for the next generation,” Kuol said.
Kuol Manyang Juuk, the Senior Presidential Advisor said basketball and other sport have potential to promote peace across the country.
“South Sudan is now in the making, we were sleeping and now we have risen up, young people of sport including basketball and others will make South Sudan great, South Sudan is going to emerge,” Juuk said.
“We have to work hard and promote South Sudan, we have managed our affairs and now we have emerged on the world map, sport is going to promote peace and also it will make wealth,” he added.
Albino Bol Dhieu, the National Minister for Youth and Sport said that the participation in the last round of qualification for the basketball world cup is historic.
“We have the potential, we have the responsibility to change the narrative in our country, our image has been tarnished and that is why a lot of people around the globe are actually not valuing us, now they have started revising their concept about the people of South Sudan,” Dhieu said.