Finally getting a chance to update the blog. I apologize for not posting this past week. I actually got pretty ill on Monday, and it continuted throughout the week, and ended up going to bed pretty early most nights. And since I don’t get email access till late at night, been difficult to post the updates.
2nd Week Summary:
We had 22 girls show up for the camp on Monday. Somewhat disappointing, as we were hoping for over 30, but not surprising considering girls basketball is not really pushed here, and in fact, many girls drop out as they get older due to pressure from their families. The skill level was somewhat disappointing, as even the better girls at the camp struggled with some of the basic skills. But again, not difficult to see the reasons. So many obstacles for boys in this country to be successful, the obstacles are tenfold for the girls.
We decided to keep things pretty basic, and work around the skill level as best we can. It still was beneficial, as I think sends a good message that we are offering both camps, and giving girls here a chance to get better. There wasn’t anyone there at a university level, or really even close, but a couple of good athletes and some young girls that could be ok if that had the right training.
We brought the boys back in the evening. We had a English class arranged for them to attend, and they did that from 3-4:30. The plan was to do that all week, then scrimmage afterwords. I decided to scrimmage with them, and we ended up playing for 2.5 hours. Which turned out to not be the best idea for me. It was the first time I had played for a long lenght of time here, and I must have dehydrated myself. Our team kept winning, so I sort of forgot about making sure I was drinking enough water. We were only playing 3 on 3, on both ends with teams rotating in, but we played pretty hard and it was very hot and humid. Especially when we moved out to the outdoor court, as soccer had a booking in the gym.
Anyways…it cost me the rest of the week, as I didn’t feel right at all. But I also blame it on the ribs that I ate afterwords, which didn’t sit with me well either. We went to a pretty popular american style restuarant, Spurs, which Daryl likes a lot, and they have all you can eat ribs on Mondays. Daryl was fine, but I think the combination of the dehydration and ribs really did the number on me. I got back home Monday, and went to bed at 8:30pm.
I wasn’t feeling very well on Tuesday, but managed to work through camp. Only 8 girls showed up on time in the morning, and I had to have another big lecture about being on time, and the importance of discipline. But again, your battling the culture and the Tanzanian mindset is that being on time is a relative thing! We did end up with about 16 girls for the day, so wasn’t too bad.
I decided not to play with the guys in the evening…as I really wasn’t feeling well. Just watched the scrimmage and then was back in bed by 8pm!
Wednesday was a pretty similar day, however, I did manage to scrim in the evening with the guys. But kept it short, and limited myself to an hour. Was starting to feel a bit better, and was good to get the run in.
Thursday was the last full day of camp, as Friday was a half day, and we would be combining the girls and the guys to finish off the two weeks with a closing ceremony.
On Friday, there was a big production made of the end of camp. A number of representatives for the Tanzanian Basketball Federation showed up, as well as the President of the National Sports Council of Tanzania. So things turned into a pretty big deal. The media was out in full force, and videotape the closing remarks for the evening news.
I did end up offering a scholarship to one of the players, Alphaeus Kisusi, and that was a pretty big deal for people here. To have one of their players offered a scholarship to a North American Univeristy. Alpha is about 6’3 and was among the top 2 players at camp. He certainly has great potential, and I believe has a big upside once he gets training regularly and in the weightroom.
Unfortunately I had to rush out of the closing ceremonies…as my flight to Arusha had been changed from 4pm to 2pm. I’ll explain that in the next post.
Closing ceremonies with: Bahati, Assistant Secretary Tanzanian Basketball Federation – Michael Malusne, Secretary General TBF – Alex Msofe, Chairman National Sports Council – Colonel Kipingu, Vice President TBF – Phares Magese, Me
Me in my Tanzanian colors shaking hands with Alpha – our newest recruit!