Engen fuels basketball coaching development:

US Coaches Enrich Basketball in SA

Friday 09 October 2009

The sixth annual Engen US Coaches Tour, in association with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Basketball Association, was held in Durban from 26-30 September. The tour included a visit to Durban High School, and a coaching clinic for youth at the Victoria Mxenge Community Centre in Umlazi, culminating in a Coaching Seminar at the University of KZN

The accomplished team of US basketball coaches was led by Joyce Jenkins, a former basketball star and current President of Future Incorporated. Joining her were an all-star team of basketball coaching royalty that included Marvin Harvey (Chairman and Founder of Harvey's Shooters Touch Academy and former Coach of the WNBA Houston Comets, YeRushia Brown (WNBA veteran and former Furman University basketball standout) and Carl Mattei (Head Coach, Regis Jesuit High, Aurora Colorado).

The tour began with a visit to Durban High School where the US coaches shared invaluable basketball knowledge with forty young and aspiring male and female basketball players. The discussion focused on the fundamentals of the game as well as the importance of balancing sport with their academics. Those who attended were also given the opportunity to interact with the visiting coaches as well as showcase their skills in basketball matches arranged by the eThekwini Basketball Association.

However, the main focus of the tour was a four-day intensive "Coach the Coaches" Seminar which took place at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal from 27-29 September 2009. The primary aim of the seminar was to enhance the technical knowledge of amateur basketball coaches. "We hope to give the coaches enough information when we are not with them that they can go and teach what we teach. Our aim for this programme and all our programmes for the year is teaching to teach", said Coach Marvin Harvey.

The fifty amateur coaches from across the country who attended the seminar, were presented with a comprehensive basketball coaching manual containing helpful information that would aid them in transferring what they had learnt to the rest of their basketball playing communities. "Two things I'm hoping the coaches have would have learnt is the ability to slow things down, as everybody wants to learn the game so fast. The second thing is the importance of the fundamentals of the game. The fundamentals provide you an opportunity to stay in the game to be able to play against anybody,' said Carl Mattei.

On the last day the US Coaches conducted coaching clinics in the Mxenge Community Centre with the youth in Umlazi. 80 young players from surrounding communities attended the two-hour clinic and were given the opportunity to develop their basketball skills. "Sport around the world keeps kids off the street and keeps them out of trouble from doing negative things so for the past nine or ten years that Engen has been involved, think of how many kids they have saved from the streets", said Joyce Jenkins.

The primary objectives of the clinic consisted of four essential elements, namely; shooting and ball handling, defence, passing and a life skills discussion focusing on the importance of education. Each participant received an Engen basketball hamper consisting of a basketball, water bottle, t-shirt and Marvin Harvey's "Get the Shot" DVD.