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Basketball in Samoa starting to open up

Apia (Samoa) - The Samoa Basketball Federation (SBF) has encouraged several volunteer coaches to attend the Webinar series organized by FIBA Oceania and are starting to implement their acquired knowledge to specific individuals.

SBF Administration Officer Sarah-Lee Liliuokalani Malaesilia shared that the Samoans have been attending the webinars including Mizue Samoa and Tavita Aukuso Ropati with the latter starting to introduce the game to his community.

"One of our coaches, Tavita (Ropati) who's been registering for the webinars since April has gone out to organize individual training with people," shared Malaesilia. "He is one of our promising coaches and we are excited to ramp up our clinics and training once the threat of the virus is cleared."

Ropati, a student at the National University of Samoa shared that his love for basketball is one of the things that keeps him inspired during these challenging period.

"Growing up, I never thought I would love basketball but watching my friends play and also the NBA got me interested. The love for the game grew over the years," said Ropati.

"I am keen on sharing my love for the game and hopefully others follow me because it's a beautiful sport," he added.

Ropati, started his training by using his knowledge of the rules and basics of the game.

"When we were allowed to play outside, I started to invite friends so I can teach them, and thanks to the things I learned during the webinars, I feel like I am better equipped to coach," he said.

Malaesilia and SBF are inviting more coaches to join the webinars to help improve their knowledge of teaching basketball.

"We are grateful to FIBA with the webinars they are sharing and organizing because it is giving us training during these tough times. We hope we can turn these new things we learned into something productive in the future," she said.