12 April 2013

TANZANIA : TBF Should Address Basketball Promotion

CALL that Tanzania should enhance basketball participation and promote the game at the grassroots level for better results domestically and internationally has come at the right time.
It comes at a time when the game is experiencing a free fall, no doubt about this fact.Basketball is, like all others, competitive sports. It is also an enjoyable one. The game can as well transform the lives of players, like professional soccer does. For them, the sport can be a permanent source of employment.
However, the game is not played at its full potential in Tanzania, despite the fact that the country is endowed with many talented players. Our teams have repeatedly failed to make the most at the regional tournaments, where Uganda and Kenya have been dominant year in year out. In fact, the national team has qualified for the FIBA African Championship, just once in the past 50 years. A big shame for the country!
It is certainly not too late, however. There was still room for the country to turn around the fortune of the game as suggested by the experts. Speaking at the just ended National Basketball League, held in Tanga region, coaches and referees alike suggested that enhanced enrolment in the NBL and vibrant youth programmes would stimulate the development of the sport.
They also noted that Tanzanian basketball players were lacking some essential skills and attributed it to the fact that they start playing the game without learning the proper fundamentals.It should be noted that youth basketball promotion was the stepping stone to success and Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) must ensure the involvement of children and youth in basketball leagues and competitions in their surroundings.
They should as well conduct basketball clinics and organise more coaching and referees workshops.The other challenge for the TBF is to change its approach -- from entirely depending on the government and instead, look for corporate sponsorship to help finance its programmes, if there are any, anyway.
TBF leadership should also come up with a clear long-term school development programme that would help develop young players into good and responsible national team stars. If this is done, Tanzania will produce more players of Hasheem Thabeet's quality, a local basketball star, who is currently enjoying his game in the US.

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