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History of Basketball in Liberia

In February 2008, Anthony D. Fannoh, Jr., then Chair of FSLB, Inc., and Dawn Tolbert then Vice- Chair of FSLB, met with the National Basketball Association. During that meeitng, they discussed the history of baskeball in Liberia, the current state of basketball in Liberia, the role of FSLB in promoting and supporting basketball in Liberia and the role the NBA could play in Liberia. The slides below contain information discussed during that meeting.

You can view the powerpoint presentation by clicking here.

A Brief History of Basketball in Liberia

  • Soccer is the “official” sport of Liberia however, participation in basketball has soared over the years.

  • Historical ties with the US helped to generate Liberian interest in sports played in the US.

  • Interest in the sport peaked as far back as 1964 when the U.S. State Department Educational and Cultural Exchange Programme Sponsorship  resulted in a visit to Liberia by Bill Russell, KC Jones and Tom Meschery who conducted clinics and held scrimmages with local athletes.

  • In 1965, Sihugo Green of the Baltimore Bullets visited Liberia and conducted clinics

  • In 1979, David Thompson, Quinn Buckner and Monte Towe visited Liberia, conducted clinics and provided tennis shoes to players on the National Team.

  • The records are replete with visits from organizations and colleges such as the Sports Ambassadors and Wheaton College

  • The Liberian government has a working relationship with Robert Johnson of the Charlotte Bobcats

Current State of Basketball in Liberia

  • Devastation from the war resulted in damage and destruction to all of the sporting facilities and also has shattered the hopes of many of the youths.  Many former child soldiers who are sitting idle need to be rehabilitated and given something constructive to do.

  • It is estimated that by the end of the war, more than 15,000 children were directly involved in the conflict. Many had been forcibly recruited by former government militia and rebel forces for use as soldiers, sex slaves and labourers.

  • The children have no direction or hope. It is our hope that through basketball we can help solve the dilemma of how to address this epidemic.

  • Several teams were disbanded due to lack of funding, equipment and facilities

  • With organizing programs and erecting basketball courts throughout the country, we hope to help in the rehabilitation efforts of these victims of the Liberian civil war

  • The Liberian Basketball Federation and Ministry of Youth and Sports have been trying to revitalize and invigorate the programs with meager budgets.

  • To date, there are over fifteen 1st, 2nd and 3rd Division Men’s teams in Liberia.

  • There are also approximately eight Women’s teams.

  • There are several Liberian college players in the US



Role of FSLB, Inc.


  • Organization comprised primarily of former Liberian basketball players and supporters with a passion for the sport and a desire to give back to the country.

  • Members are working together to implement a number of initiatives to aid the basketball programs in Liberia.

  • Achieve its short-mid- and long-term goals through a number of collaborative relationships with the LBF, Ministry of Youth and Sports, the NBA and a host of other potential sponsors. 

  • Ultimate goal is to promote and support the evolution and sustainable development of Liberian basketball both nationally and internationally.



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