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Foundation’s Female voices: “Basketball is a powerful tool to influence and change lives”
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Foundation’s Female voices: “Basketball is a powerful tool to influence and change lives”

MIES (Switzerland) - Five women, five continents, five weeks, five stories of resilience, leadership and Basketball For Good leading up to the International Women’s day on March 8th. For week 4, we have the pleasure to share the story of Jubilee Kuartei a former national basketball athlete who transition into a successful career within the Palau Basketball Federation who is using her success and basketball to inspire and educate the next generation of Palauan youths.

 Jubilee Kuartei discovered basketball when she was 12 years old, it was the only sport competition between schools at the time.  She played both in primary and high school and just kept on playing.

The Palauan had the honor of representing her country at the Micronesian and Pacific Games. “Through basketball, I have met so many people that have mentored me in life, basketball, career, and family.  I have a basketball family made up of teammates, volunteers, officials, and colleagues.”

Training young girls to keep score for 3x3 and use the 3x3 playmaker to enter results

Jubilee became an administrator for the Palau Basketball Federation in 2001 at just 22 years old and worked her way up. She is the current Secretary General of the Federation. She is also a Board member of FIBA Oceania and the President of the Palau Women’s National Basketball League.  She has led the administration and delivery of Palau’s basketball competitions at school, local and national level. Jubilee is also employed by the Oceania National Olympic Committee with the Oceania Sport Education Program (OSEP), overseeing the delivery of OSEP in the North Pacific. 

Jubilee is also a former referee, having earned her FIBA referee license in 2007 and becoming a Referee Evaluator in 2011.

Refereeing at FIBA Womens Oceania championship

Basketball has had a huge positive impact on her life. “My experiences as an athlete, referee, sport administrator and executive board member have been a major contribution to who I am today. I have learned so many life skills through basketball, that are transferrable to my job/career and family”.

Through her 21 years involved with basketball, Jubilee has developed a passion and desire to use basketball to positively influence the lives of others, especially youth, the same way it impacted her life.  “In all my years in basketball, starting from when I was an athlete, it was embedded into me that basketball teaches life skills.  What you learn in the sport, if applied across other areas of your life, will allow you to be successful.”

The volunteers for the Palau National Games.  Besides the referees, most of them are between ages of 12 - 23

Basketball For Good is a fundamental principal that Palau Basketball Federation lives by “We have used basketball as a tool to positively influence the lives of Palauan children, teaching character, values and life skills, teaching about health and specifically noncommunicable diseases, teaching about their role in society and culture and teaching about the environment and keeping it clean for the next generation.  Basketball For Good must always be the foundation of every basketball program and event.  Even in hosting competitions and regional tournaments, we always aim to deliver some Basketball For Good message because sport/basketball is a powerful tool to influence and change lives.”

For example, Jubilee put in place a Leadership Basketball Camp, training youth and junior national players to run basketball camps for children 6 – 18 years old. “The camps do not just teach basketball skills and opportunities to play, we focus on teaching leadership skills to help the youth deal with social issues they are facing today.  I train the youth to plan, organize and lead the camp and supervise as they deliver the camp.  It’s training youth to be leaders”.

Training the youth basketball leaders for the 2020 summer leadership camp

“As Secretary General, I actively involve youth in all aspects of basketball, providing leadership opportunities.  I connect young national female players with high school coaches to give back to the sport by being an assistant coach.  In our national games and national youth games, I identify young people to be part of the organizing committee and in some cases to lead various sub-committees under the leadership of adults to learn sport management skills.  The Tournament Directors and Competition managers of the past National Games and National Youth games have been female”.

3x3 partnering up with Palau Pledge to protect the ocean and environment for our children to enjoy

Jubilee has big plans for the future, “I would like to develop the next generation of Basketball leaders and coaches to carry the torch of developing basketball in Palau and using basketball as a tool to positively influence and change the lives of Palauan youth. I would also like to continue to use basketball to empower the youth of Palau and develop leaders on and off the court and continue to support the development of basketball and basketball officials in the region”

“Sports is a phenomenal platform to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and professionally.  Where else do you get challenged to learn and grow to be the best version of yourself? Sport provides opportunities for women to stay active, especially in a culture where women are expected to be the main caregivers.  It also provides safe opportunities for women and their children to participate in physical activity and has a huge impact on the quality of one’s life and career”.

Jubilee owes a large part of her career to basketball and her success is inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.