Bright sparks for game’s future
Basketball’s future appears to be a bright one.
So says Nexgen ABA founder and director Zahir Motara after successfully staging the camp’s first ever Primary Schools’ Open Court Basketball Tournament last weekend at the Wildey Gymnasium.
“I think basketball is in good hands, but you won’t see the results of this until say about five years down the road, or ten years down the road; and that’s something we have to look at in terms of the long-term goals with our next generation,” explained Motara, who is professional coach and current national player.
“Over the last year or two, I think the interest has been growing. We the coaches are on the ground every day, so we kind of don’t realise it; but looking at the different levels that are being played in terms of the Summer Jam and other competitions, then the skill levels are definitely growing.
“The future really does look bright, so we’re going to meet with the BABA and try to organise with The Gymnasium so we can do it once a month; but if not, then once every six weeks. We actually had three or four kids here who have never played basketball and that augers well for our sport,” he added.
Geared towards kids under the age of 11, the tournament attracted 22 kids who were split into two age groups and six teams overall.
It was contested in a 3x3 format with smaller hoops for the younger under-8 age group, while the under-11 kids played on the customary rims inside the Wildey Gymnasium.
“It was pretty decent in terms of turnout and, as I said from the beginning, once we got ten children we’re going to do something because we just need to start. We got 22 kids with three teams in each age group; so that was a positive start,” said Motara.
“And I’m really happy with the volunteers and the assistance we received because we got a lot of young basketball players who play for different clubs and schools and we have some national players who came back to help.
“The officials who work with the association also came out to help which is really great for the future of our sport because we have young people who want to be trained as coaches, referees and officials and who don’t just want to concentrate on playing,” he added.