|Participants training hard during the coaching clinic.|
RATHER than enjoying themselves on a Saturday night, 18 boys spent the time to learn some extra court techniques, courtesy of a basketball clinic organised by athletic footwear company AND1.
The heavy evening rain left Taman Pusat Kepong’s basketball court wet and slippery, but that did not deter the participants from learning to polish their skills under the guidance of visiting coach Ashraf Sharaf Addin.
Accredited by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), Ashraf, who hails from Yemen, is currently on a tour of FIBA’s Asian leagues and was contacted by former national basketball coach Sue Teck Hua to see if he could give a few pointers.
For many of the boys, just warming up took a new twist with new routines to work up the body’s core muscles, such as lifting a tennis ball with one’s legs into the workout partner’s hands.
|Ashraf (in white) teaching the youngsters the correct way to do push-ups.|
“A lot of you guys just receive the pass, and charge in like a bull without looking at the basket first,” said Ashraf to the boys, with Sue on hand to help translate.
Making a straight- and 45-degree jump-shot also became challenging, with the boys having to mark the number of baskets sunk, and as an incentive to pay attention, they were forced to do “suicide” runs.
“It is more about emphasising teamwork, and to pay attention to what’s going on, instead of just focusing on your own corner or area of the court,” said Ashraf.
This emphasis, he explained, came about because more often than not in 3-on-3 basketball, such as the upcoming AND1 tournament at Berjaya Times Square in November, the team often relied on one star player.
“The way I structured this clinic, is to systematically start first with one-on-one, then two-on-two, then three-on-three, then you get a very strong team,” Ashraf added.
The youngest participant, Jason Tan Jee Kin, 11, said he enjoyed the workshop even if it was curtailed by a second bout of heavy rain. “I learnt a lot, and it was fun, but tiring too,” Tan smiled, while his lay-up partner, Chen Yong Li, who towered over the 11-year-old, said he had hoped to participate in this year’s tournament.
“But I also have PT3 this year, so my family didn’t allow it,” said the Tim Duncan fan.
The teen years, Sue said, was a good period to develop one’s basketball skills and find out if they had what it takes to go professional.
“You have not learnt a lot of bad habits yet, so workshops like this one tonight will help in setting you on the correct path. But you also need to go practise on the court often!” he laughed.
News Source: The Star Online