HOOPS! with MWEMBE KAONA
WITH the staging of two World Basketball Championships in one year, a number of thought provoking questions were asked at various fora especially social media.
It is an interesting question especially when one considers that the countryâ€™s senior and junior national teams have never qualified to the final round of the continental championships and the furthest has been the Zone Six Championships, a regional event.
Sincerely speaking playing at the FIBA World Championships or the Olympic Games is a possibility provided goals are set and plans are put in place.
It is not something that can materialise in the next four to ten years but in 15 to 20 years which may seem far off but realistically not too distant considering that the world events are played in four year cycles and in this case the next will be in 2019 and the subsequent one in 2023.
To get there examples can be drawn from Angola and Mozambique who have been to the global stage.
For Angola their menâ€™s team has been dominant on the continent whereas for Mozambique it has been the womenâ€™s side.
Angola started a process in the early 1980s by developing a philosophy of the game which has paid off and although their menâ€™s national side is showing signs of wearing off their established base guarantees they will remain a strong basketball nation for years to come.
Zambia needs to pick a crop of raw talent and shape up the boys and girls as the dream team.
This is not about the current under – 20 players but those that are learning the basics.
In this part of the world, learning of the game starts late although the advent of the Youth Basketball League has brought matters to sanity.
Selection of a team of the future should not discriminatory and in this case the issues that are being considered by local coaches â€˜think tankâ€™ dubbed the Tamanga Boys come into the picture.
The issues are basically athlete skill competences among which are physical, technical and social simply height, ability and interactive nature.
UK Sport International basketball coaching expert Peter Mintoft suggested in his last visit that the talent identification programme be focused in areas where natural height exists namely Western and North-Western provinces.
I agree with him and it would also be good to establish active basketball structures in those areas with focus on youth development so that the right basics are grasped at an early stage.
Other than getting the administrative aspects sorted out, the provincial educational administration in the two provinces should come on board to assist with facility development where they are non-existent and rehabilitation of those that have been run down.
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HOOPS! with MWEMBE KAONA