Working with young people to develop basketball”
In this period of Covid-19, sports activities are rare, especially basketball. But Konko Siré Bâ has taken all the necessary measures to organize his basketball camp, intended for boys under 13. In this interview, the tax expert discusses the objectives and the impact he wants to have in the development of Senegalese basketball.
What motivated you to organize a U13 camp?
This u13 detection camp started on December 19 (last Saturday) and will end tomorrow (this Tuesday). we have pre-selected 39 players for a two-day camp, led by technical staff from new york with marlon smith and rauly leino. after these two days, we kept 20 players who will undergo real training. this will allow us to see their level and to have a glimpse of their potential. we want to take this opportunity to collaborate with the other coaches of the Senegalese Basketball Federation. I am a basketball fan and I think this is a very important category. but it is neglected and we want to focus on this category to have a continuous development of basketball. in the other states, for example in new york, the small categories are very developed. people pay them very special attention. So, I think it’s time we did the same to see basketball evolve and continuously.
Can you come back to this partnership with the Senegalese Basketball Federation?
For now, these are tests and I have reached out to the Federation. I asked how I can help. the national technical director, mustapha gaye, welcomed me and was friendly. He questioned me a lot to ask me about my motives and ambitions. It is clear that he wants to do something to develop Senegalese basketball.
He let me know. after our discussion, he put me in touch with ousmane diallo. tapha gaye told me that he is convinced of our mission and that he will accompany us. therefore, we decided to offer 250 balloons under a brand that we created “malaw rise”. malaw refers to the lat dior horse and I like this historical figure. the structure is based in the united states and is called “malaw rise corporation”.
Do you plan to perpetuate this camp or is it just for this year?
we are definitely looking into the future. the ambition is to be able to create a semi-annual to annual camp. I would like to have a camp in July and another in December. I am a basketball fan. I am a tax advisor by profession. i have a full time job and i cannot focus 100% on malaw rise. but as I come to Senegal twice a year, I want to take the opportunity to do camps and have top coaches. the latter will be able to share their experience with local technicians.
So, can we expect girls’ participation in the future?
Absolutely, that is our wish. this is why our collaboration with the Federation and the national technical direction is very important. They will be able to show us the way to lay the foundations for deeper partnerships. we started with fairly limited funds and we wanted to focus on u13 boys first. small categories are important and we need to focus on boys and girls.
What sector do you think is important in this collaboration with the Federation beyond logistics?
I think it is important to develop the technical aspect. that’s why I came with professional coaches. They do just that in the United States and have a proven track record. marlon smith is a division one player. He was in the same class as the Bron James. it is by working with these technicians that we will be able to contribute to the development of our coaches. which would make it possible to have small strong categories as well among seniors.
In your opinion, what should the State do to support these initiatives?
We organized this camp with our own funds. support for technicians, room rental, plane tickets, catering, equipment, among others. I cannot speak of sum because that is not the goal. the objective is to participate in the development of basketball. the 250 balls offered can be used for basketball as a whole. but we cannot develop basketball without infrastructure. We need land in the neighborhoods and we count on the support of the state so that young people can play and develop. basketball just requires a court, shoes and a ball. it must be accessible to all young people.