SEYCHELLES : Mini-basketball jamboree

KNOWING the importance of fundamentals, discipline and competitions at a young age will surely help you to develop into a good and successful player.

Fédération internationale de basketball association (Fiba) coaching instructor Sterling Wright said this last Saturday during a mini-basketball jamboree jointly organised by the National Sports Council and the Ministry of Education at the Victoria gymnasium.

Mr Wright – who is here on holiday – has previously worked in the country, bringing a helping hand in developing Seychelles’ basketball.
During his six-month contract back in 2007, Mr Wright –who strongly believes in the fundamentals of basketball – ran several courses locally, including a level one coaching course and a youth basketball training programme under the name Holiday Try-out Camp, which aimed at identifying and preparing young players.

Mr Wright presents the basketballs to a primary school pupil

Guest of honour at Saturday’s tournament, Mr Wright – though on vacation – willingly shared his views on how to better develop basketball.

He explained that mini-basketball is the starting block for future development of the sport as it expose the kids not only to basketball as a sport but also to the rules and regulations.

This, he said, will help them to grow up with the right attitude which will mould them into effective and disciplined players.

As he has said before, he repeated that if as a child you neglect the importance of fundamentals and discipline, you will grow up with a lot of bad habits which will negatively affect your career.

Regarding the teaching approach, he said the physical education teachers at school level are the ideal candidates for the task.

Plaisance and Anse Aux Pins, the mini-basketball jamboree champions

“They have been trained to deal with kids, so they have the right approach, compared to team coaches who are focusing on winning rather than teaching,” he said.

Regarding Saturday’s competition, Mr Wright said the turnout – 26 teams – was a positive sign and more effort should be put into keeping hold of the young players and more such competitions should be organised.

This, he said, will boost their confidence and bring in the competitive spirit.

The referees did a good job as well by allowing the children to play without whistling at every mistake they made, and this helped to make the tournament more exiting, he added.
He also said he noticed several players with good fundamental skills of basketball such as dribbling, ball control, passing, shooting and lay-ups.

“These kids, once identified, should be closely followed as they are the future of the country’s basketball,” he added.

After the prizegiving ceremony at Saturday’s tournament, Mr Wright – who has worked in 47 countries – distributed mini-basketballs to representatives of each school.

The balls – a personal gift from him – will be used for specialised training programmes at school level.

Plaisance primary school were the champions in the boys’ group, while for the girls Anse Aux Pins were the winners of the first mini-basketball jamboree.

In the first boys’ semi-final, Plaisance defeated Anse Aux Pins 12-4 while in the other match, La Rosiere beat Anse Etoile 4-2.

In the tightly contested final, Plaisance outscored their opponents by a single basket to win the match and title 6-4.

After an easy 12-4 victory over the Independent School in the semi-final, Anse Aux Pins met La Rosière, who beat Anse Etoile 2-0 in the other match.

Like their male counterparts, La Rosiere lost the final by a two-point margin allowing Anse Aux Pins to go home with the cup.

R. D.