This very valuable photo is from the collection of my friend S.Teo "The Old Guy" (http://limbang152.blogspot.com)
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!