Rwanda: Mutokambali On How He Plans to Develop Rwandan Basketball

1 February 2021

Two weeks ago, the Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) named Moise Mutokambali as new technical director.

The veteran basketball coach comes in to replace Joseph Wright, an American national who held the position for one year.

Times Sport sat down with the tactician to talk about what he will do to improve local basketball during his tenure.

Excerpts:

How do you feel after being appointed Ferwaba's new technical director?

I am very happy to have been entrusted with the job and I am confident that I will try to fulfill my responsibilities as I work together with all relevant stakeholders.

What are your responsibilities as a technical director?

I will mainly work with coaches to improve the level of the game in the country.

Here, we will do things like training coaches, monitoring the national teams - working together with coaches to improve the programs they have for the national teams.

I also have to monitor the training of the national team, because I am responsible for its evaluation.

You are already the coach of The Hoops. Will you continue with this, as you also act as the technical director at Ferwaba?

I will not continue being head coach of The Hoops. But even as I leave the position, the team has coaches who are capable of helping the team progress.

I can offer some support to those coaches, but not as a coach of the team.

What do you intend to do to expand the game across the country and what plans do you have to nurture young talented basketball players?

I am going to implement the broad lines related to the development of basketball.

I think we should put more effort into expanding the game so that we can have junior competitions in all categories.

The federation's goal is to set up a basketball tournament and train a large number of coaches to make basketball skills accessible.

Already, in the junior tournaments, there is an Under-15 junior league competition, where we have 43 schools.

This is one of the basics we have to start with to enhance children's talent. We can get talented youngsters from these schools, put them together and give them more skills so that they can play for the country in various junior categories.

How will school children be monitored?

For a youngster to go from being a junior player to feature for the senior team, it is a long journey. Currently, we don't have enough in place to prepare the players from level to level until they are ready to play for the national team.

To address such, we will work with schools so that we prepare more competitions for youth to nurture these talents.

We also have to work to establish a second division for senior basketball, to provide the youngsters a platform to feature in these lower league clubs as they make their way to greater levels.

How will you manage to trace young talented players?

Before, we used to get young secondary school students and we taught them the basics of basketball. This was not the best way because it was kind of late for them to start.

But for now, we are going to change the system and go down to primary schools. We want the coaches that we will have trained to go to primary schools and teach children the fundamentals at a young age, and this will be better.

We had started this in 2020 December but due to the pandemic, we halted the program for some time.

How will this early talent detection project be done?

The youth talent search project is a federation program in partnership with the Ministry of Sports.

We have already conducted coaching workshops where we discussed with the coaches concerning the key points in detecting young players.

Last year, we started here in Kigali. But the program will spread across the country, where we will build the capacity of coaches about tracing and developing young talents.

So far in each of the provinces in the country, we have 3 coaches who should at least follow up with monitoring talented children in schools in each district.

After the suspension of games is lifted, we will work together and go around the country looking for the best young talents: 100 girls and 100 boys that should gather for camp during holidays, so that they are trained. They will also be put in a database so that the federation will find a way of following up on them.

How do you see the 3 * 3 basketball game here in Rwanda?

This 3 * 3 basketball game here in Rwanda has not made much progress. It is a good game and we should put effort into it because it is now an Olympic game.

It is a game that assists children in learning the fundamentals of basketball, and it also assists coaches to monitor the movement of players on the court so that they can detect good players.

In addition, because it is now on the Olympics level, it can be one of the games that the country plays and can win us medals.

I look forward to promoting it in the country and assisting coaches to learn more about it, as well as the young players.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

Follow https://twitter.com/NkotanyiDamas

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