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Basketball for Good Shifting Cultural Perspective

PORT MORESBY (Papua New Guinea) –  FIBA’s Basketball for Good program, Hoops for Health, is providing aspiring Papua New Guinean (PNG) basketballers with the confidence to build better relationships on and off the court.   

Aligning with one of FIBA’s strategic priorities to Empower National Federations, and underpinning the global mission; To create one basketball community, we bring people together and unite the community, Hoops for Health is paving the way for positive change in PNG. 

In the Central Gulf District, Rodrick Morea plays basketball with the National Capital District Basketball Association (NCDBA) and Port Moresby Basketball Association.  Following a recent visit from the Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea (BFPNG) Hoops for Health program, Morea is more connected to his family through his passion for basketball. 

“Since participating in Hoops for Health, I feel better about myself, my self-confidence has improved,” Morea said.  “Feeling good about myself has changed my attitude towards my peers and family, so I am building better relationships.” 

Hoops for Health is more than a basketball program, it is providing children in remote districts of PNG with access to vital community and cultural messaging to influence generational change.  “I found out about Hoops for Health through my brother, Gabriel Elvo because I wanted to learn more about the fundamentals of basketball, however, I learnt so much more about myself and how I can contribute positively to my family and community now and in the future,” Morea said. 

Morea’s brother Gabriel Elvo echoes this sentiment, “If we can teach good habits on and off the basketball court to kids at a young age, then we will be able to build stronger communities with the right values,” Elvo said.  “I look forward to coaching more junior teams, being about to watch and teach kids how to play basketball brings me a lot of joy.” 

BFPNG Development Coordinator, Jordan Sere, has been travelling around PNG conducting Hoops for Health programs for three years and said he can see positive changes within remote communities. 

“Basketball is a wonderful outlet for children to learn more about themselves, with a basketball in their hands and a hoop in sight, they are invincible,” Sere said.  “It is important for children to learn about their capabilities and how they can use those capabilities off the court to contribute to their family and communities.” 

Sere acknowledges that while there is still more to be done, Hoops for Health is providing a fundamental link between basketball and community development.  “What we are doing in PNG is playing a pivotal role in educating our future generations about acceptable behaviour and attitude on and off the court.  This is a really important time to talk to our children and teach them what we can effectively, basketball is that vessel for communication.” 

Basketball for Good programs facilitate the FIBA Foundation’s mission to use the power of basketball to initiate positive change.   Basketball for Good in Oceania is supported by the Australian Government through Team Up, and delivered by FIBA and its partners.