From boardroom to basketball court: The journey of Lebesa Selepe

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Basketball - Mens, Basketball Africa League, Uncategorized

Photo credit: ProTouch Africa – Andile Shomang

In the world of sports, stories of perseverance and dedication often shine the brightest. One such tale emerges from the bustling streets of South Africa, where Cape Town Tigers star Lebesa Selepe, a former corporate accountant turned professional basketball player, has etched his name into the sport’s history books.

Selepe’s odyssey began in his high school days, where he dabbled in various sports, including rugby, and athletics, before finding his true calling on the basketball court. Despite initially juggling multiple sports, his basketball talent soon became undeniable, earning him spots on provincial and national teams.

“So, for me, basketball was a sport I did in the summer. In the winter. I did rugby and in the spring season, I’d sometimes do athletics and sometimes just focus on preseason basketball. I think it all started when I started making provincial teams. When I was 16, I made Gauteng under 18. When I was 17, in matric, I made South Africa’s under-20s. And then I started getting offers to go study at varsity to play basketball. ” revealed Selepe.

Basketball presented him with the chance to attain a free education through a scholarship. He embarked on a journey through varsity basketball, honing his skills and gaining invaluable experience on the court.

“So, I played basketball through varsity. I played for three years at Wits and four years at Vaal University of Technology. And then (after university) I worked as a Cost and Management Accountant for six years.” Stated the 32-year-old.

For Selepe, the decision to leave behind the corporate world was a leap of faith. As he faced uncertainty in his professional life, including the looming prospect of losing his job, basketball emerged as a lifeline – a passion that provided both purpose and fulfilment.

“Once I joined Cape Town Tigers, I let go of my professional job, and my accounting career, because, I’m not always going to be able to play basketball. So, while I still can, I thought, let me just do this. Because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.” revealed the South African.

With unwavering determination, he seized the opportunity to pursue his dreams, knowing that his daughter’s arrival added urgency to his quest for financial stability.

“I couldn’t afford a bank account that runs dry, because my daughter was going to be born in about four months’ time. So, I was pulling my hair out, as I knew I was getting fired.”

Selepe rekindled his love and passion for basketball, eagerly anticipating the chance to return to the court and showcase his skills in the world of basketball.

“So, making money for basketball, for me is easy work, you know, it’s something that I love doing. It’s almost like a blessing. Not a lot of people get to do what they love and call it a profession. So, I grabbed that with both hands.”

Balancing the demands of professional basketball with fatherhood, Selepe credits his wife for her unwavering support, acknowledging her role as a supermom and his partner in parenting. Together, they navigate the complexities of raising a family while instilling in their daughter the values of hard work and resilience.

“It’s a tough one I’m not going to lie. I think my wife is a supermom, a super wife. There’s just something about women when it comes to them being mothers where they take over.”

Looking ahead, Selepe envisions a future where his daughter follows in his footsteps, albeit on the golf course rather than the basketball court. He emphasizes the importance of dedication and perseverance, urging her to embrace setbacks as opportunities for growth.

“I think the advice that I’d have for my daughter is just to work hard. When you get setbacks and have disappointing performances, just go back to your routine. “

As Selepe continues to defy the odds and carve out a legacy on the basketball court, he remains grounded in his commitment to hard work and discipline. Whether leading his team on the court or mentoring younger players, he embodies the ethos of a true leader, emphasizing the importance of attention to detail and adherence to a collective vision.

“I don’t want to be the senior player that is in the ear too much. But sometimes I just can’t help it. But what I do, what I am heavy on is the details of how we are supposed to play as a team.” Stated the South African.

Beyond his accomplishments, Selepe harbours a deep sense of gratitude for the growth of basketball in South Africa. He recognizes the potential of the sport to unite communities and inspire the next generation of athletes, coming up in the ranks noting the changes he has seen within school-level basketball.

“I love it. I always use the analogy that when I was in high school, there was under 14 A to F in cricket. Now cricket only as an under-14, A and B, while basketball now has an F and G team. So, the numbers are undeniable, the growth is undeniable.” Revealed the Basketballer.

As he continues to compete on the grand stage of the Basketball African League, Selepe reflects on representing the Cape Town Tigers. With each game, he reaffirms his commitment to excellence, determined to leave a lasting legacy as a player who never gave up, no matter the obstacles.

“I’d like to be remembered as somebody that just always put his head down and kept on chopping away and kept on giving his best and kept on putting his best foot forward and was still the same person irrespective of what turmoil came into his life.”

“Whether it’s bad performances, whether it’s bad publicity, whether it’s being in a system where the coach doesn’t favour you. I’d like to be remembered as the guy that never let anything get to him. I was never broken.” stated the Cape Town Tiger.

Lebesa Selepe’s journey serves as a testament to the power of perseverance and the transformative impact of following one’s passion. From the corporate boardroom to the basketball court, his story inspires individuals to pursue their dreams relentlessly, knowing that with dedication and determination, anything is possible.


PROTOUCH AFRICA is a purpose-led and Sports Tech business founded in 2016 with a focus on enabling African Athletes to perform on the World Stage.

It is pioneering new ways for fans to interact and engage with their favourite teams, leagues, and athletes and enable alternative revenue streams.

ProTouch Africa’s Podium Pursuit Project is focused on creating a transparent and sustainable funding mechanism for the next generation of African Athletes. Its vision is to launch the World’s first fan-owned impact investment platform for African Athletes in Q1 of 2024 by assembling an ecosystem of top-performing athletes, their fans, and the brands that support them.