Morocco hosts youth basketball tournament
By Naoufel Cherkaoui for Magharebia in Rabat – 19/04/12
University basketball teams from Lebanon, France, Germany and Guinea converged on Morocco last week for the 3rd edition of the TIBU-Maroc international tournament.
The event was organised by the Morocco chapter of the International University Basketball Association, with the support of the Ministry of Youth and Sport, the Moroccan Royal Basketball Federation and the US embassy in Rabat.
"This annual league is still the most important event to be organised by our association, which includes a group of university students," Mohamed Amine Zeriat, President of TIBU Maroc told Magharebia at the event conclusion on April 13th.
"Our goal is to encourage university basketball and women's basketball, and also to spread the noble values of sports among young people," he added.
"The event is divided into five pivots: sports contest, in which 12 teams, including four women's teams, took part," he went on.
"We're now contacting universities in other countries, including Russia and Spain, to invite them to take part in the next edition," Zeriat added.
US Ambassador to Morocco Samuel Kaplan said, "We admire the work of this association, especially its work to help young people develop their abilities. The US government believes in the ability of sports to teach youths of various social classes the values of teamwork, helping others and leadership."
Chaimae Legdali, person in charge of communication in the association, said that "the radiance of the event is growing thanks to the experience we have acquired, and also thanks to the increasing number of participating countries and the increasing number of young people who follow the events."
Omar Laroussi, a player representing the National School of Commerce and Management in Settat, said: "There was good level and wonderful rivalry between players in the matches of this event."
"The organisation was very good given the experience that the organising association has acquired," Laroussi added. "Meanwhile, the popularity of basketball is expanding in Morocco. The league has enabled us to learn about other cultures in the framework of current openness in Morocco. It has also enabled us to acquire sports experiences through competition against some local and foreign teams."
For his part, Carl Sfeir, a Lebanese player, told Magharebia that "the league was held in a wonderful atmosphere and with good organisation. The competition was fierce, and the league has witnessed good level given the level of participating teams."
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