Maputo Should be a Learning Experience

10:45 AM Theophilus Mensah 0 Comments

Team Ghana will be leaving town today for Maputo, Mozambique to participate in the 18th edition of the AfroBasket U18 tournament. The competition has served as the stage on which many young African players, notably Hakeem Olajuwon and recently Serge Ibaka caught the attention of the world. As much as it's a youth event, the competition level is not for the faint-hearted and ill-prepared.

Considering the chronicles that have unfolded within these past few weeks of preparation for our team, Ghana could easily be classified into the ill-prepared category. The technical director himself has said on occasion that it would be unrealistic to talk about or expect any great outcome from this trip.

However, we need to be there; for the learning experience. A statement not many people will agree with but we still need to be there for that exact reason. We may talk of competing several times in zone three and having a GBBA technical director who has had quite an experience working with FIBA Africa as a game official during continental events. Talk could also be made  of the national seniors women's trip to Mali for the AfroBasket women's championship in December 2011.Their performance there is certainly not something we would like this young team to replicate. But with all these, we've never had a men's team compete at the African level and nothing beats the experience of being there.

Whether or no this team ends up on the podium, Ghana should be a better basketball country after this trip. The national association should be a better organized institution after this by all means necessary otherwise we would have only done ourselves, fans and sponsors a disservice. Nothing will be more painful than tasting continental competition for once and knowing how exciting it can get and the benefits it can reap for young people then slamming back into our old ways and into another long down time.

It lies on all of us  and most importantly the GBBA staff that will travel along this team to learn and be ready to implement what we learn. It's never an easy task; but it lies on us!

follow the writer on twitter @ofoli_kwei

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