Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Basketball Players

This very valuable photo is from the collection of my friend S.Teo "The Old Guy" (

Mention basketball and most people would think Yao Ming.

But to me basketball has a lot of meaningful memories.

Firstly I have always wondered if this statement is a sweeping statement : "Basketball players always have a place in any Sibu girls' heart."

Growing up in Sibu good basketball players were heroes to us. We knew their names and we knew their scores. And most importantly most of them were Foochows so that made most of us very proud being Foochows!!

Sibu players used to be selected to play for Sarawak : Kong Kiong Ming and the Wong brothers of Hin Yu Park who came from the Methodist Secondary School. I never had the opportunity of obtaining and keeping any Sibu basketball team photo. The photo shows the Limbang team (1950's)for which my friend played. He is of the same Clan (Zhang) .

Later in the 80's basketball seemed to just fade away for a while . Today basketball playing is still fairly significant but it no longer dominates the conversation in coffeeshops any more. And furthermore if you do not read Chinese newspapers you may not have any news about Sibu basketball at all. But luckily for me I continue to watch NBA on TV/Astro. What happiness I had when watching the recent Olympics basketball!

What do young men and young women learn from basketball ?
1. Rules - must be kept to play an honest game. Dishonesty is a shame.Play fair always. Never scratch.
2. Discipline - be obedient to the coach. Respect fellow players. And you just might even practise your Christian principle : Love Your Enemies. Stick to the game plan. The whistle is a clear instrument of discipline. The whistle controls and disciplines. It is an instrument that has formidable powers. It can paralyse and it can rejuvenate. How I miss the whistle blowing of Miss Jackie Fries (one of the greatest basketball coaches of the Methodist Girls'team )as I write this.
3. Skills - develop your own skills with the help of team mates and coach. Best players are well remembered.Practise Practise Practise...I remember my cousin Wong Yuk Hee practise shooting baskets for two hours every morning during the holidays. This annoyed the Matron of the Girls' Hostel a lot. One must always remember to pass on one's skills to younger players.
4. Physical Growth - basketball helps players to grow tall...much taller and stronger than others who don't play basketball.
5. Attraction of the opposite sexes....most boys who play good basketball have star quality and girls fall in love with them easily. So if you are the jealous type do not get basketball players as boy friends. You will be in trouble.
6. Time - you need plenty of time to play basketball...and if your mum needs you at home you have to sacrifice play time and play a lousy game due to lack of practice to the irritation of coach and fellow players. It is very painful to be dropped from the team.
7. Friendship - some of the best friends you ever get in life are those you find on the court.
8. Cooperation - scores and good play can only be achieved if you cooperate with each other and remember the game plan.
9. Training - believe in training. Listen to the coach who gives good instruction.Believe in the game plan and execute it.
10. Health - every child should learn to play a ball game...and the cheapest is basket ball. Most people develop good health by playing basketball every day. You can play basketball using a lousy ball and wearing cheap made in China basketball shoes.

I think Sibu should promote basketball again for below 12 age groups.

And one of the best scenes I love in life : a group of happy young basketball players going towards a court with a ball. Few things in the world can beat that. And definitely one of the best sounds in life? A ball being dribbled on a good wooden floor.

Finally I would to say that everyone should be allowed to play basketball regardless of race and religion!

12 memories:

Superman said...

That's really an old picture you've got there. Now got 3 on 3 also for basketball. the time changed. last time any shoes they can wear for basketball but now, those kids are wearing a basketball shoes which cost easily more than RM500.00 and let people step on it in the games. rich kids poor dad. many kids today are living a good life where the parent suffer. they will never buy a shoes for the price of RM500 for themselves but the kids will buy it without a blink in their eyes.

chung said...

I read your posting with great pleasure as I was once a basketball player for the school and went for several tournaments. Sarikei players were very good in the old days so I did not get a chance to play for Sarikei. Then I started working for companies which produced some good teams.
Superman is very right. Parents don't wear good shoes today but instead HAVE to buy expensive shoes for their boys to play basketball.
Coaches also will not bat an eyelid at expensive shoes...but they will complain if the kids buy lesser shoes!!
I played rural basketball too without that's great for my memories.

Greenspot said...

My mother likes basketball when she was young. I remember Catholic High School was a venue of many basketball competitions in the 1970's.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Yes the Catholic has the first and best indoor basketball stadium in Sibu. The Harlem Globetrotters gave a demonstration game. It was fantastic!
In subsequent years I went to watch a lot of basketball games. Actually like your mother I do not get tired watching basketball games.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Yes this is a very old picture but it is pure nostalgia and yearning for days gone bye when I look at this lovely picture - attap roofing and guys wearing those simple singlets.
Can you read the four words? A step forward? Very forward looking indeed.

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Chung Thanks for visiting. In another posting I wrote about boys playing basketball without wearing proper shoes...and when I taught in Limbang and Sedaya in later years almost all the native boys played basketball in their barefeet.
Lots of moral lessons to learn from there!
One boy with all the blisters in his feet continued to play because he could score very well! What selflessness in the old days!!

Bengbeng said...

i had some interest in basketball while i was in Mukah but here in Sibu, the craze has stopped for me. replaced by the computer... not a healthy development for me I would say :) exercise is important.. the ubi belayar looks interesting. would buy it first chance i get

I Am Sarawakiana said...

beng Beng
so you are from Mukah! I always thought that you are from Penang or Perak.
Basketball is always a good game to play. So I hope Sibu boys will continue to play the game well. Families should always go out to the court and shoot baskets together.

Limbang152M said...

I am honored that you chose that old (1950s) photo for your posting. You may or may not remember my basketball days at TLS, where/when I got picked to play for the Miri Team.

BTW, in the old days, Sibu's Sacred Heart produced some of Sarawak's best basketball players.


I Am Sarawakiana said...

I love this old photo of yours because it really reminds me of the olden basketball days and the little Chinese scroll/banner is so typical of those days.
Yes I remember the rather interest story/stories of your basketball days in TLS.
Many of our basketball friends of those days may not be able to read what I have written - because they are shy of the Internet.
But what I have written is only one of a small speck of the whole spectrum of basketball stories in Sibu...but it is still a worthy story to write.
May be you could post your own story for us to read?

I Am Sarawakiana said...

Yes the Sacred Heart Boys and Chung Hua Girls were formidable. But the Methodist Boys were equally superb.
I think the Sarawak team also had Sarikei basketball players apart from the Sibu selected players....

peacemaker88 said...

There used to be people who believed that games could bring about peace. The Olympics for example. And then there was the Ping Pong Diplomacy.

If only the older generation can allow basketball and volleyball to play a role in peace making many inroads could be made. Today a lot of bullying happens. Perhaps our elders have not done the right thing...

Happy to know some writers still care about peaceful thoughts/acts.


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