03 April 2012

KENYA : Kenya needs better youth basketball structures- Mwangi

Barely two months in office, Josiah Mwangi the newly elected Nairobi Branch Basketball Association first Vice chairman has new ideas to better the game. The best of them all is that of developing the youth at the tender age.

The vice chairman holds views that in order to compete favorably with other countries at the senior levels, Kenya needs to have better youth systems that educate and train the young to adapt the game at the tender age.

“Our main undoing is that players, start playing the game, at an advanced age in secondary schools, unlike in developed countries, where they have better systems which nurture and develop young talents from a junior age. In this way, kids learn basics while still young, no wonder we can’t compete with such kids at the senior level,” he said.

Mwangi added that these are not entirely new ideas but a matter of reviving projects that existed some time back , “We want to start the Under 12 league, this will majorly target the young kids in primary schools.” He added saying “We intend to start the league in April and continue in August at a time when kids will be on holiday. I want to urge the passionate basketball players to come out and volunteer mentorship as we seek to revive this long forgotten project”said Josiah
To him, he notes in reference to a recent tour of USA by Kenyan youth teams that it was a major concern from coaches who assessed the Kenyan youth, they lacked basics.
“The findings revealed that the Kenyans lacked basics as compared to their counterparts in the USA, who are better prepared for the game at a relatively younger age.”
“ Our main objective is to immediately start this projects that will add value to Kenya’s basketball so that we can equal and rival other African powerhouses.”

The vice chair also said that plans are underway to approach corporate sponsors who will come on board in assisting with such long term programmes of nurturing talents.
“At the moments we lack sponsors, plans are underway to ensure we bring some on board, we need to provide these youth development programmes with equipment to facilitate good training and more so have better equipped coaches at the grassroots who will impact positively towards the growth levels of these youth at their local training bases. All these needs money and resources to attain maximum returns,” he added.

Mr. Mwangi said that they have already sent scouts in the city to identify passionate kids who are eager to develop their skills so that they can start, the league and therefore revive the Basketball youth development project.

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