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FIBA and IBF keen on thriving Mini Basketball in Africa
BAMAKO (Mali) - The growth of Mini Basketball in Africa has received a major impetus with the holding of the 2019 FIBA Africa mini basketball forum which took place from 26-29 September in Bamako, Mali.
The continental gathering jointly organized by FIBA and International Basketball Foundation (IBF) brought together 400 children aged between 5-12, 12 foreign trainers, 20 local coaches and other participants from various countries and was aimed at getting members engaged in the discipline.
Courtesy of exciting court sessions and a mini tournament, the various children were introduced to the philosophies of the game with many enchanted and keen on continuing to play the discipline.
Through enthralling exercises with renowned FIBA instructors the participants were enlightened on the basics of the discipline and the crucial role mini basketball plays in developing the skills of young basketball players.
FIBA expert Nour Amri emphasized that via such grassroots projects, the kids aged 5-12 are able to develop crucial abilities that are self-evident in modern basketball
“We noticed that in Africa, children start playing basketball late generally around 14-15 years old. But it is scientifically proven that for a basketball player to play at high level, he should have started playing basketball between 7 and 12 years”
“During this symposium we spoke to the coaches and referees, edifying them on the philosophy of mini basketball as well as how to officiate a match of mini basketball. We strongly believe that if children on the continent start to play a little earlier, Africa will probably weigh in the balance of global basketball”
The mini basketball convention was headlined by a seminar for coaches and basketball administrators across the continent during which the challenges thwarting the growth of the game were highlighted.
The host nation Mali has been on the forefront of youth basketball on the continental and global scene with the Under-18 boys team clinching the FIBA U18 African Championship 2018 and impressing at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019 where they lost in the final to the USA.
The head of Mali’s basketball federation Arouna Maiga is convinced such significant gatherings will greatly enhance and spur more nations on the continent to adopt mini basketball.
“This forum is an excellent thing for African basketball and especially for Malian basketball. The lessons that we at the level of the Malian Basketball Federation draw from this event is that it will allow us to consolidate what was already being done in the country at the level of training at the base”
“We plan to organize such a forum annually first in Bamako and later on expand to the rest of the country”
The Bamako event is a cardinal component of FIBA Africa's development program, and FIBA's strategic direction for the 2019 - 2023 Term.
FIBA President Hamane Niang is upbeat the Bamako symposium is a glaring testimony that the institutions move to revitalize Mini basketball on the continent is in full swing
“FIBA is making great efforts to bring training back to the basics which is mini basketball. After the conventions in Morocco and Namibia, the outcome of the Bamako forum proves that FIBA and IFB’s drive to develop the game in Africa has been adopted”
“It is through the organization of such events that we can expand the basketball family by multiplying the fans and producing great players” President Niang concluded.