The Crenshaw High girls' basketball team will not be making a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa, at least not this summer.
The Federation Francaise de Basketball, which was sponsoring a monthlong trip to four African countries beginning July 27, has notified City Section Commissioner Barbara Fiege that the Africa Challenge basketball tournament has been canceled. The Crenshaw girls' and Banning boys' basketball teams had been selected by the City Section to be the first representatives from the United States in the tournament.
The French federation sent a fax Thursday to Fiege that read in part: "The reason is that the federations in Africa are not ready for youth competitions in the elementary schools we want to organize (le Challenge des Ecoles).
"All the members of Africa Challenge would like that project to be done with integrity. We want to thank you very much for your confidence and we (will) keep you in priority for 1995 Tour in which you'll be contacted before December 1994."
The Federation did not say anything about compensating the players for the money they have spent--about $50 each--for vaccinations or passports.
"I'm very disappointed," said Crenshaw co-Coach Greg Cobbs, who was going to escort the seven Cougar girls. "These kids were looking forward to this. We had study halls to learn more about Africa. Everyone was buying film and borrowing video cameras. This is totally ridiculous.
"Some kids didn't take summer school classes.
"Maybe some group will come forward and sponsor us so the kids can go somewhere else. It's a sad thing to do to these kids."