The following is an ongoing series from WTLC’s Ali AlShowaikh about his new experience working with professional basketball in his home country of Bahrain.
Every country and every place has that one special person whom the citizens and people love and adore. That person could be a ruler, a politician, a religious cleric, a celebrity or whatsoever. In the Kingdom of Bahrain, that one special person is our Prime Minister His Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. To us, he is far more than just a Prime Minister, he is the father of our Kingdom, he is the father of all citizens, and he is the guardian angel of Bahrain. This person has dedicated his entire life serving our beloved country. His dedication was reflected on the citizens in the form of an exceptional love and respect. He is the true definition of support; his support was always and is still found in every aspect in the country and in the heart of every single individual. To me, he is the most precious person in our kingdom; I view him as the backbone of our society.
Bahrain’s Basketball Association, which is led by His Highness Prince Isa Bin Ali, was privileged to have the cup competition running under the name of our biggest supporter, our father His Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa since two years ago. This cup is considered as the most precious cup in Bahrain because of the valuable name that it holds. Since then, The cup competition became a top-class event; it is considered the Playoffs of Bahrain’s Basketball league.
Teams battle furiously against each other to be crowned as the champions. Financial incentives exist as the prize pool of the first and second place is more than $100,000. The competition is sponsored by the biggest companies and banks in Bahrain. The games are played at the biggest sports arena in our kingdom. The competition is subjected to an exceptional and an extensive media coverage. People from all across Bahrain attend the games to the extent that the arena gets packed and you can literally feel the vibes of basketball and its intensity inside the arena.
In an outstanding and a classy ceremony, the draw of the cup competition was recently announced. It had also been announced that the competition will begin on the 18th of February, 2019. I was honored to be able to attend the ceremony. It was extraordinary.
What caught my attention was the unlimited support that our Prime Minister has towards the game of Basketball and how lucky we are to get that type of support. We are extremely blessed and grateful for it. That itself, increased my reassurance and made me certain that basketball in our country has a very bright future given that its lead by an inspirational leader, Prince Isa bin Ali, and its supported by our father His Highness Prime Minister of Bahrain Prince Khalifa bin Salman. This is going to be the third edition of Prince Khalifa’s Bin Salman Cup competition.
In comparison with the ceremonies that occurred in the previous two years, there is a massive difference and a major improvement. I can’t wait to see what surprises the competition itself holds for us, as I’m completely confident that it is going to be on another level. It feels amazing to be able to witness Basketball in our country escalating especially when the motive behind that escalation is His Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman. I couldn’t be much more happier and grateful to be apart of this association, and I hope that one day I do get the honor to meet His Highness Prince Khalifa Bin Salman and get to listen to his wise words and learn from his astonishing personal traits.